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Water Crisis in Bangladesh

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Published on Apr 29, 2009

Bangladesh continues to grapple with electricity outages that are severely affecting the supply of water in the capital of Dhaka today. Residents are experiencing an early start to the usual water shortage during summer.
Meteorologists say the country has been facing a moderate to severe heat wave over the last ten days.

People lined up at dawn for hours with buckets and containers hoping to get some water from supply tanks that authorities have sent out.

[Corporal Anwar, Bangladeshi Army]:
"Residents are suffering from the acute shortage of drinking water, so we as members of the Bangladesh army are trying to help these people by supplying water."

The groundwater level has also been dropping, making it harder to pump the water out.

Patience is wearing thin among the local residents since one person died after drinking dirty water, and more than 1,200 people are suffering from diarrhea.

[Sanwara Begum, Dhaka Resident]:
"We have to wait for the supply of electricity, when the electricity comes then the supply of water starts, but the water is dirty with bad smells, and the water causes diarrhea, arsenic and other diseases. We are facing so many problems, we stand in line the whole day waiting for water."

Officials say the demand for water in Dhaka city is over two billion liters a day, but their production level has dropped.

For now, people will still have to wait in the sweltering heat to get their basic drinking water.

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