Both Service Recipient & Providers are Now Responsive to their Job
Khashia community of Ward No. 3 of 13 Karmodha union under Kulaura upazila of Moulvibazar district was lagging behind in terms of water and sanitation for a long time. Considering the sorry WatSan condition, NGO Forum for Public Health had chosen the area to work with its pro-poor spirit. WAFFH-the local partner of NGO Forum as part of its commitment began working closely with Union Parishad & community people to have an in-depth scenario of WatSan situation of 12 Khashiya Punjis under the Union. On a certain day, they sat together at Lutijuri Punji located in the middle of the area that was participated by all classes of people of those Punjis including leaders of Punji, male, female, student, youth, persons with disability, labour and so on. Using different methods like community social and resource mapping and drawing maps of households with and without WatSan facilities, they collected relevant information on WatSan situation of the area through applying PRA. They examined the total situation and identified the next course of actions in a participatory way.
A 15-member committee was formed from the community to realize their WatSan demand for the area. As there are a lot of gaps persist between service recipients and service providers, the Committee designed bottom-up approach that includes community people to service providers at national level. Initially, based on the findings of PRA, they submitted an application to the UP Chairman through the local ward level UP member demanding WatSan services for the area. Afterwards, they demanded the same to the local Member of Parliament. Considering it as a highly important issue, the MP pledged to install a Rain-water Harvesting System in the Community that has been under allocation for the Upazila this year. Though it is inadequate compared to size of population of the area, it is considered one step forward to realize their demand.
Their journey does not end here. The Committee made contact with the Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) on poor WatSan situation of the Punjis. The UNO took a decision to do something for the Community in the Upazila NGO Coordination Meeting held on 5 Sep 2012. They also made contact with the Deputy Commissioner at district level. The DC in the District NGO Coordination Meeting take a resolution requesting Executive Engineer of DPHE, Moulvibazar to take necessary initiatives for installing special water technology for the Community. Finally, the Committee applied to the DPHE District Engineer on behalf of the people of Punjis duly recommended by the Upazila Chairman, UNO and UP Chairman as the Engineer suggested. As a result of community demand and CSO’s subsequent follow ups in this regard, the district authority took special initiative to allocate around Tk. 30,000 for the installation of a Community Rain-water Harvesting System.
The community people of Khashia Punji are now knowledgeable for claiming their rights from respective department of Government. This is not limited within the demand of WaSH services only, rather they also made demands for road construction. Their united voice bound the local Union Parishad in constructing the road using the fund (around Tk. 52,000) under the Government’s Rural Employment Generation Programme (Karma Srijan) through their local Union Parishad. NGO Forum for Public Health along with its local partner WAFFH has created community demand in the local level. The respective departments of government are sensitized to accommodate the demands into their planning. Both service recipient & providers are now responsive to their respective job.