During the first week of July 2012, two of the districts in which the Chars Livelihoods Programme (CLP) currently works, Jamalpur and Kurigram on the northern Jamuna, were subjected to a rapid rise in water level and flooding. Indeed the water level was considered to have been the highest since the 2007 flood.
Anecdotal evidence, in the form of ad hoc reports from CLP implementing organisations (IMOs), suggested that the CLP’s plinths were maintaining their integrity and protecting core participants and their neighbours, as well as their assets. Anecdotal evidence also suggested households were accessing clean water and that the low cost latrines were performing well in their first real flood test. To determine the veracity of the anecdotal evidence, the CLP undertook a detailed survey during July 2012, just as the floods were receding, to investigate in particular the performance of plinths, low cost latrines and access to clean water.
The survey showed that the CLP-raised plinths faired well during the July 2012 flood. A large proportion of recipients were safe and had shelter above the flood line, as 65% of plinths remained intact. 29% were partially eroded and only 8% were submerged. The plinths had a wide reaching impact as food and fodder reserves were protected and tube wells and latrines largely remained above the flood water level. CLP-raised plinths also provided shelter for neighbours (nonrecipients) and their assets and thus provided a social and communal good. A key concern during the adoption of the low cost latrine model was how it would perform during flood conditions. A proportion of recipients did report that their latrine had been eroded (15%) or submerged (17%). However as the flood receded, most low-cost latrines remained intact and some were weakened but still useable. The low-cost latrine model proved successful as only 4% were destroyed and recipients continued to have access to sanitation during this time of flood.
During the flood, 84% of the tube wells remained intact. Even though a small percentage of core participants saw their tube well submerged, all had access to a tube well i.e. their own tube well, a shared tube well, or their neighbours’ tube well. However, only 33% actually had access to clean water according to CLP’s definition. This small percentage has been attributed to the large amount of tube wells without an intact concrete platform.
Kenward, S.; Cordier, L.; Islam, R. A study to assess the performance of CLP raised plinths, low cost latrines and access to clean water during the July 2012 flood. (2012) 21 pp.