Slum-dwellers in the city of Chattogram, Bangladesh, no longer have to queue up to collect water and spend Bangladeshi Taka 200 ($2.36) for 1,000 liters.
Nearly all Chattogram residents now receive clean water supply through a few initiatives of the Chattogram Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (CWASA), including a World Bank project. The expanded piped water supply has made life easier and more comfortable for citizens who previously experienced intermittent water supply every week.
Toward universal water access
When the Chittagong Water Supply Improvement and Sanitation Project (CWSISP) was conceived in 2010, the World Bank joined hands with CWASA to support the $186 million project. including:
3. By modernizing its utility services and expanding its coverage, CWASA has become the first water utility service in Bangladesh to achieve the ISO 9001:2015 Certificate for its water production facilities. Obtaining this certification presents advantages and ensures better quality products and services, more reliable production scheduling and delivery, and guarantees standards for annual assessments.
4. Increased efficiency has led to a substantial increase in CWASA revenue collection over the past ten years. In 2010-2011, CWASA’s earnings were BDT 557,562,222 (over $6.5 million) and in 2019-2020, its revenues stood at BDT 1,247,632,906 (over $14 million).
6. The project has installed two booster pump stations that enabled CWASA to reach far-flung areas.
7. A new water treatment plant, Sheikh Russel Pani Shodhonaghar, which has a capacity of 90 million liters per day, has been constructed.
The ISO certification has to be sustained through periodic audits.
CWASA is now well-positioned to scale up its capability and gradually connect the entire population to a modern sanitation system. Improving institutional capacity cannot be achieved through a single event, rather it is a continuous process, which can only be sustainable when it is emerged through an endogenous process and led by the local actors.