I’ve been working at Lancaster Environment Centre on a project looking at water quality in informal settlements and working with a range of local partners in Dhaka, Bangladesh and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The area of focus is water collection and storage in ‘the last 100 metres’ of the water’s journey from goverment supply. It’s amazing just how much quality degrades during this process. Household variation is very high, but we’re often seeing contamination levels a hundred times higher than the main pipes in water from handpumps, household storage and consumption. While these informal settlements have particular arrangements for water distribution, this kind of contamination is likely to occur anywhere with porous water supply infrastructures and water storage. The project is an innovative interdisciplinary study attempting to measure the effects of infrastructural and community water and sanitation interventions on this issue. You can learn more about the project on the Lancaster, British Academy and Centre for Policy Research websites.
(Photo Dr Pronob Kumar Mozumder)