Experts at an international seminar here Saturday suggested taking a master plan to recycle wastewater as well as wastes in capital Dhaka aiming to meet the rising demand of pure and safe drinking water in the city.
They said that a huge amount of wastewater is generated in the city every day, which contributes to the pollution of rivers and water bodies in and around the city in the absence of proper management of wastewater.
The Franco-Bangladesh Association of Scholars and Trainees (FBAST) and the Embassy of France in Dhaka jointly organized the seminar titled ‘Wastewater Management in a Mega city: Perspective Dhaka’ at Hotel Sheraton in the city in the morning.
BUET Prof Dr MA Jalil, French Ambassador in Dhaka Charley Causeret, Deputy Managing Director of Dhaka WASA Dr Liakath Ali and FBAST secretary general M Serajuddin, among others, spoke at the seminar, chaired by FBAST president Liakat Ali Khan.
WASA executive engineer Rafiqul Islam, WASA expert Delwar Hossain and French wastewater specialist Alain Meunier made power point presentations at the seminar.
Dr MA Jalil, BUET Professor of Civil Engineering, said the wastewater would have to be managed properly for the sake of country’s environment. “Water treatment plants are very much necessary to supply drinking water for the city dwellers… to manage wastewater efficiently we should set up more water treatment plants.”
He suggested providing sustainable sanitation facilities for the city dwellers in order to combat water contamination in the capital.
Stressing the need for a master plan to manage wastewater in the city, Dr Jalil said: “If we are able to develop a master plan, this will provide a guideline for the future. However, a huge amount of money will be needed to announce such a master plan.”
He urged France to extend its cooperation in formulating the master plan as well as transferring technology, knowledge and ideas to recycle wastewater in Bangladesh.
WASA expert Delwar Hossain in his presentation said Dhaka WASA’s sewerage coverage is 30 percent of the City Corporation only. At present, Dhaka WASA service area covers about 470 square kilometers.
He said development of sewer system and wastewater management in Dhaka city is not only important for sewage or wastewater disposal, but also much important to reduce the pollution of water sources for the interest of city’s water supply as well as reduce environmental pollution.
French Ambassador Charley Causeret said presently, only 80 percent of the Dhaka city’s demand for water is met, but the metropolitan water demand will double by 2030.
He said: “Today global driving forces, including climate change, increasing water scarcity and urbanization are affecting the resilience of water supply and sanitation system, which will make situation of the millions people already exposed to dangerous level of biological contaminants in Dhaka even more critical.”
The ambassador said France is willing to help countries like Bangladesh, both at local and international levels.
He informed that in the perspective of the decade (2005-2015) devoted to ‘water is life’, France and Bangladesh are currently preparing a draft resolution with six other countries at the World Heath Organization.