Official opening of the new water network in Mirpur, Dhaka

Last Thursday, the 3rd of October, marked the official opening of the new water network that WOP2 built in the Dhamalkot slum in Mirpur, Dhaka. The community of Dhamalkot - together with DWASA, VEI, Local Government and partners - celebrated the completion of the construction and the commissioning of the new water infrastructure. Now 10,000 people have access to safe drinking water with the support of Water for Life and our partners.

In 2012, VEI and DWASA, joined forces and started a Water Operator Partnership (WOP). Through the WOP project, co-financed by the Embassy of the Netherlands, VEI and DWASA exchange best practices, share knowledge and skills to enhance DWASA’s operational capacity. One objective of this partnership is to improve water provision for low income communities by developing sustainable water infrastructure and connecting them to DWASA's water network.

Hereto, WOP has built a new water distribution network in Dhamalkot slum, in Mirpur 14. The network of over 1.700 meters pipeline, replaces the mishmash of makeshift plastic hoses. This drastically improves the quality of the water, as well as the water pressure. By connecting the new infrastructure to DWASA’s existing network, the availability of water will be much better. Before, people used water for just a couple of hours per day and sometimes they would face periods of days without water. Thanks to the construction of the new water distribution network by VEI, these struggles will now belong to the past and over 10.000 people will enjoy improved water supply.

Besides the water network, 102 water points were improved in Dhamalkot slum; 23 new points were constructed, and 79 existing points were rehabilitated and legalized. In total 212 water points were connected to the new network. With these improvements people will no longer have to wait in line to collect water. The inhabitants of Dhamalkot slum are now brought under the service of DWASA and will be treated like regular customers. By taking water out of the illegality, people pay a better price for water which in turn generates revenue for DWASA from supplying water to low-income areas. In addition to installing water infrastructure, the WOP project also provides hygiene and maintenance trainings to the community and capacity building of community representatives with the help of implementing partner DSK.

VEI represents six water utilities of the Netherlands: Vitens, Evides Waterbedrijf, Waterbedrijf Groningen, WML, Brabant Water and WLN. Together they support local water companies in emerging markets by improving their business processes in a sustainable way.