Aiming to increase hygiene coverage, a faecal sludge treatment plant is all set to go into operation in Chittagong city from the middle of September.
Dustha Shasthya Kendra (DSK), a non-government organisation, is implementing the project at a cost of Tk98 lakh funded by WaterAid Bangladesh in 6,076 square-feet land of Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) in its Ananda Bazar area of Halishahar.
On January 18, 2016, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the CCC and the DSK for constructing the plant, which was finally inaugurated on August 22.
Terming the move a long-awaited one, Md Edris Ali, vice-president of Chittagong chapter of Poribesh Bachao Andolon, an environmentalist organisation, said the project will help improve the environmental hygiene of the port city.
When contacted, Shafiqul Mannan Siddique, chief conservancy officer of the CCC, said the plant with a capacity of manufacturing 30 tons of organic manure per month initially was likely to go into operation from the middle of September.
“The DSK will dump human waste in the faecal sludge treatment plant after collecting them through a Vacutug machine from the septic tanks of the houses and offices. Later, solid wastes will be mixed proportionately with the faecal sludge for manufacturing organic fertiliser in the plant,” he added.
Currently, the CCC has a fertiliser manufacturing plant and the wholesale price for each kilogramme of organic manure produced in it plant is Tk15. There is no sewerage treatment system in the premier port city.
According a report recently prepared by the Department of Environment, the city of six million people produces 760 tons of solid wastes daily which is openly dumped in the city’s Halishahar and Arefin Nagar areas.
In the absence of a proper waste management plan, the solid wastes produced in the city find their way into the Karnaphuli River every day through 52 canals and drains.
Alarmingly, as many as 50,000 sanitary and 24,000 unhygienic traditional latrines are connected directly to the Karnaphuli, the report said, adding that the untreated sewage was contributing to a sharp fall in the dissolved oxygen level of the river, posing threats to its biodiversity.