Critical lessons from apparent failure: using solar energy to supply piped water in a remote coastal area in Bangladesh
People living in climate vulnerable coastal areas in Bangladesh suffer greatly due to acute water shortage. Increasing saline intrusion in ground and surface water in this region has made potable water extremely scarce. This affects poor people most since they either drink saline water or drink less water than their bodies need. These practices have serious health implications for these people which ultimately affect their overall well-being. Appropriate technology is not yet available to address this because locations are remote, communication is difficult, unit cost is high, and electricity is not available to operate high-end technologies. In this context, WaterAid experimented with a solar-powered low-tech device to extract groundwater from a distant source and distribute it through a piped network. A community-based management and water-sharing approach was also trialled. The technology and the approach worked well but were abandoned after one year because the community moved away when the embankment was eroded.