Amid the summer water crisis in Dhaka, residents of the capital’s Taltala and Shaorapara areas face a slightly different problem – dirty WASA water.
Unlike some parts of the city, Taltala still receives a steady supply of water. But the running water for the past month and a half is unfit for consumption or use in daily household chores, say residents.
Similar reports have emerged from neighbourhoods in Shaorapara.
Residents of Taltala’s Mollapara, Ma Villa Alley, Shaheed Jamil Road, Mollabarhi Intersection, and Shaorapara’s Shaheed Shameem Street have had to resort to buying water for drinking and cooking.
“There are no problems with the amount supplied,” Mollaparha homeowner Osman Gani said. “But the water smells so bad that you can’t wash your mouth with it, let alone drink it.”
Mollabari homemaker Fahima Begum claims the water gave her two sons jaundice, according to bdnews24.com.
“They were taken to the hospital and the doctor said their illness was caused by the water.”
“The water that flows after 8am is completely dirty,” said Ma Villa Alley resident Md Babul Miah. “But, after 11pm, the water is fine. We use that water for bathing and store some to drink later.”
Mollaparha resident Nurul Nahar Maola says the cost of buying water separately has put pressure on finances.
“A kind of mossy-coloured foam would form when I boiled the water,” he said. “And it was still unusable after being boiled. I was forced to buy more. Now I have to pay the landlord Tk 1000 for water a month and then have to buy Tk 3,000 more. My total water bill is now Tk 4,000!”
Asked about the situation, Dhaka WASA Managing Director Taksim A Khan speculated that a crack in the pipe may be responsible for the problems and said he would look into it.
“Maybe there is a leak. Or perhaps a hole has been accidentally cut while trying to install an illegal water line. We will investigate the situation and take steps to fix the problem.”
He also asked people to call 16162 to report problems with their water supply, saying it is difficult for authorities to fix problems without reports.
Meanwhile, the water problems persist.
“The water smells and it even contains bugs,” said Shaoraparha resident Md Nayan Chowdhury. “The lodgers have complained.”