Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sharing and dissemination workshop on ‘Khulna Water’

The 2nd sharing and dissemination workshop of the peri-urban water security project was held on December 4, 2012 at CSS Ava Center, Khulna. Prof. Dilip Kumar Datta of Khulna University delivered a speech based on the research findings conducted by the peri-urban research team of IWFM, Khulna University and ILS. Dr. Hamidul Huq of Institute of Livelihood Studies (ILS) was the session chair in the workshop.  This workshop had participants from Community people, service providers, civil society groups, NGO professionals, university faculty, students and volunteer group of Khulna  

Picture 1:  Prof. Dilip Kumar Datta and Dr. Hamidul Huq interacting with the group at the sharing and dissemination workshop in Khulna.
Prof. Datta mentioned that freshwater in Khulna is really scarce due to its geographic setting (situated in the exposed coastal areas of Bangladesh). In his speech, he conveyed that “However, human oriented development pressure on the nature and natural resources (air, water and soil) are also responsible for water insecurity in urban and peri-urban Khulna. Day by day water related problems in Khulna are increasing. Social conflicts among users are also found in the area. Future climatic projections indicate that water related disasters would further increase water related vulnerability of Khulna’s people. To adapt this situation, Khulna City Corporation (KCC) and Khulna Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (KWASA) have taken several adaptation strategies. However, adaptation strategy for the peri-urban people is still neglected”.

This dissemination workshop was conducted to bring the larger stakeholders in a common platform for long term action and advocacy for Mayur River in Khulna. Major recommendations and stakeholders’ comments have been noted for future research and action for urban and peri-urban water security in Khulna. Following are the research findings that were shared with the participants.

Study title
Major findings
 Water quality of Mayur
  • Mayur’s water is heavily polluted by solid waste and wastewaters discharges from the city area.
  • During dry period, water quality exceeds the recommended limit for any use
Wastewater characterization of the KCC at Mayur outfall

  •  About 17-20 drainage outfall discharge waste from KCC area.  
  • Wastewater quality exceeds the recommended limit for agricultural irrigation
Geo-morphological characteristics of Mayur
  • Geo-morphological characteristics show that it is almost a dead river and have potential for freshwater reservoir in future
Community based solid waste management (CBSWM)
  • Household solid waste is a major source of pollutant in the Mayur river. A CBSWM system will improve water quality and quantity in the river 
Existing project analysis
  • A number of development projects have been implemented without considering the environment
  • Development projects have negative impacts on the Mayur directly or indirectly
  • Proper institutional coordination is absent for sustainable water development project
Analysis of the water use conflicts at Mayur
  • Water use and user conflict are to be found along the Mayur. This needs an  argent action for saving the river and water security in Khulna
Cost-benefit analysis
  • Data collection completed
 Landscape design of the Mayur river system
  • On going
Regulatory framework for Mayur river protection
  • On going

Picture 2: Participants of the sharing and dissemination workshop in Khulna.
In the discussion session, the major recommendations were as follows:
  • Mayur River could be a freshwater source in Khulna, if it is saved from the present degradation activities (pollution and encroachment). 
  • Re-excavation and removal of the existing infrastructure is important to save the river.
  • During dredging/excavation there should be a proper plan for sludge disposal.
  • Before sludge disposal, sludge chemistry has to be evaluated for safe disposal and reuse.  
  • Site suitability analysis for sludge disposal is very important before starting dredging/excavation.
  •  An institutional arrangement is needed for protecting the river.  
  •  Existing drainage system analysis and its management plan should be developed.
  • A river commission may be formed for protecting the river and thus ensuring long term water security in Khulna.
  • Design and implementation of the effluent treatment plan at the selected drainage outfalls.