The government should come forward to increase the awareness of people about keeping water tanks hygienic, said CEO Reaz Hafiz of Pure Cleaning Solutions, in an interview with DhakaTribune’s Niaz Mahmud. Reaz Hafiz is the first entrepreneur in the water tank cleaning business, who started in this field back in 2011
How did you come across this idea?
The idea of water tank cleaning came to my mind with the query of a Canadian expatriate living in Dhaka, who wanted to call a tank cleaning company to disinfect tanks at his home. The interesting part is that there was no such company in Bangladesh at the time which could efficiently clean water tanks, and the only available alternative was local labourers.
I thought about it deeply and decided to establish a company to meet this important need. I started to communicate with various global firms who manufacture cleaning machines and materials and who provide these kinds of services. After reviewing all suggestions, I started my small social venture in February 1, 2011.
How do you feel about being the first entrepreneur in such a field?
The water tank cleaning business still remains largely untapped, though it is a very important issue. We use water from overhead and underground water tanks in our homes and offices on a regular basis. However, we remain greatly unaware of safety and hygiene consequences. As a pioneer, I have tried to make everyone aware about its importance and now the result is slowly starting to show.
How do you evaluate the present market scenario in Bangladesh?
Water tank cleaning service providers are still at an amateur stage because it is still a growing market. The scope of ensuring service from its providers still has many lackings. Nevertheless, the positive sign is, 8-10 companies are trying to provide this service in Dhaka city. People are now concerned about cleaning water tanks regularly, not by unskilled labourers using manual means alone, but by professionals enaging proper steps.
What do you think is the reason behind the lack of awareness?
People are still unaware about hygiene and water tanks, and are unclear about the side effects of unhygienic tanks. This includes decision makers of building committees, building owners, and maintenance officials of offices and factories, who have no idea about the process and importance of systematically cleaning tanks.
How to increase this awareness?
The government should come forward to increase the awareness of people about the hygienic cleaning of water tanks. Plays and documentaries can be broadcast on various media about the importance of water tanks and regularly cleaning them. Ward councilors and city corporations can initiate scrash programs in this regard. Beside this, various NGOs can also work on this important social issue.
What equipment is used to clean water tanks?
Various companies are using different types of machinery for disinfecting water tanks, and most modern equipment is imported. Generally, mud pumps, suction pumps, water sprayer machines, vacuum cleaners, medicine sprayer machines, UV light illuminators and more, are used for cleaning purposes. Beside this, some safety equipment is also used to ensure the safety of cleaning teams.
What is the process of cleaning water tanks?
The first step starts with removing water from tanks and then gas is removed. Then sludge is removed and medicine is sprayed on the walls of the tank. After that, the whole tank is cleaned with fresh water from top to bottom. Then water at the bottom is taken out and UV protection is applied to kill any remaining germs. Finally, an antibacterial agent is used to ensure the hygiene and safety of the tank.
What are the challenges this sector is facing?
The first challenge is to increase public awareness. Next is the lack of trained and professional service engineers. The third is the lack of proper machinery and tools for cleaning water tanks in Bangladesh. The final challenge is an inadequate water tank hygiene monitoring system.
What are your future plans?
With socio-economic transformation, Bangladesh will be an upper middle income country by 2030. My future plans are to align with Vision 2041 of the government and to ensure the safety and hygiene of water tanks with 100% robotic cleaning.
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