BLOG SURF: Water in slums

I vividly recall attending a ceremony a few years back to celebrate the first time that residents of Korail, one of the largest slums in Dhaka, became connected to the municipal water supply.

I was called upon to distribute water bills as part of the ceremony, and have never seen people so happy to pay for water!

The bills showed these people that, finally, they got access to a secure supply of clean water, available around the clock and with enough pressure to reach the second floor of a house. We might take this for granted, but it’s life-changing for the residents of Korail.

In just six years, over five million have gained access to running water, which protects them from myriad diseases transmitted by the poor quality water sold by unauthorized vendors at exorbitant rates.

How did this happen? It comes down to innovative approaches to urban water management, extra accountability, and use of new technologies.