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Cablegate: Usaid/Ofda Cyclone Sidr Situation Report #10: Usaid/Ofda

VZCZCXRO3073
OO RUEHCI
DE RUEHKA #1891/01 3381150
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 041150Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY DHAKA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5722
INFO RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU 9411
RUEHCI/AMCONSUL KOLKATA 1049
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0343
RUEHGO/AMEMBASSY RANGOON 2623
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO 8205
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 8301
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 1934
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 0424
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0605
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0055
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKDIA/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHHMUNA/USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DHAKA 001891

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR SES-O
DEPT FOR SCA/PB, SCA/EX
DCHA/OFDA FOR ROBERT THAYER
AID/W FOR AA MARK WARD AND ANE ANNE DIX
DCHA/FFP FOR MATTHEW NIMS AND PAUL NOVICK
ROME FOR FODAG
BANGKOK FOR RDM/A TOM DOLAN, ROB BARTON
KATHMANDU FOR USAID OFDA BILL BERGER AND SUE MCINTYRE
TREASURY FOR ELIZABETH WEISS AND SUSAN CHUN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREL ASEC CASC AMGT SOCI ECON PINR EAGR SENV
BG

SUBJECT: USAID/OFDA Cyclone Sidr Situation Report #10: USAID/OFDA
Water Purification Units to Respond to Water Needs of
Cyclone-Affected Populations


1. Summary. To reduce the effects of perennial flooding and
cyclones in Bangladesh, USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster
Assistance (USAID/OFDA) has invested in preparedness and mitigation
programs for a number of years, including the pre-positioning of
water purification units to provide clean drinking water. In
response to Cyclone Sidr in southern Bangladesh, USAID/OFDA deployed
additional units to address the emergency water needs of affected
populations. USAID's Disaster Assistance Response Team
(USAID/DART), along with USAID/Bangladesh and the U.S. Embassy in
Dhaka, are monitoring the location and functionality of the 14
USAID/OFDA water purification units currently in country. End
summary.

--------------------------------------------- ----------
PREPAREDNESS AND MITIGATION: USAID/OFDA PRE-POSITIONED WATER
PURIFICATION UNITS IN CYCLONE-PRONE BANGLADESH
--------------------------------------------- ----------

2. Water purification plays a vital role in disaster response, as
safe drinking water helps prevent diarrhea and other water-borne
diseases like cholera. USAID/OFDA stockpiles water purification
units in warehouses and deploys them during disasters. These units
provide clean drinking water and correspond to Sphere Humanitarian
Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response. The
purification units can draw water from wells, boreholes, or surface
water sources. They then treat the water to reduce suspended
solids, and subsequently disinfect the water. At present, each unit
USAID/OFDA deploys during disasters costs $40,000 and has a maximum
output of 10,000 liters per hour.

3. Over the past decade, USAID/OFDA has supported the operation of
mobile water purification plants in Bangladesh. Prior to Cyclone
Sidr, USAID-funded disaster preparedness mechanisms included six of
these systems already in country. Since these systems are mobile,
they facilitate rapid response to recurrent floods and cyclones in
Bangladesh. Non-governmental organization (NGO) partner Save the
Children operates two of these pre-positioned systems, while CARE
operates the remaining four units. After centralizing the clean
water supply, USAID/OFDA's implementing partners can utilize local
networks to hire rickshaw drivers with 500 liter tanks to distribute
water to outlying villages. This approach increases access to safe
drinking water to remote areas and also creates income generating
opportunities for rickshaw drivers.

--------------------------------------------- ---------
USAID/OFDA RESPONDS TO WATER NEEDS DUE TO CYCLONE SIDR
--------------------------------------------- ---------

4. In September, as part of ongoing preparedness programs in
Bangladesh, USAID/OFDA ordered four additional water purification
units. These systems arrived in country around mid-November and are
now serving as added resources to the Cyclone Sidr response.
Implementing partners CARE and Save the Children each received two
units. Together with emergency relief commodities from USAID/OFDA's
Dubai warehouse, including 2,500 hygiene kits and 2,500 water
containers, these water purification systems have contributed to
USAID/OFDA's early response efforts in Bangladesh.

5. Identifying water as a priority need for cyclone-affected
populations, the USAID/OFDA team on the ground requested the

DHAKA 00001891 002 OF 002


delivery of four more water purification units on November 21.
These additional units from USAID/OFDA's warehouse in Dubai arrived
in country on November 27, along with four water storage bladders
and 2,400 water containers. NGO partner World Vision received three
of the units, three storage bladders, and the water containers,
while Save the Children received the fourth unit and one water
bladder.

6. To provide safe drinking water to cyclone-affected populations,
NGO partners CARE, Save the Children, and World Vision are currently
implementing 12 USAID/OFDA water purification units in the following
upazilas and villages: Mongla, Khulna District; one unit in Amtali
and two in Patharghata, Barguna District; Kalapara, Zianpara, and
Umedpur, Patuakali District, two units in Morrelganj and one in
Sarankhola, Bagerhat District; and Bandaria and Mothbaria, Pirojpur
District. The remaining two USAID/OFDA units are currently under
maintenance. In addition, as of December 3, the U.S. military had
also provided 14,309 gallons of water to assist cyclone-affected
populations.

-----------------------------------------
GOB PROVISION OF WATER PURIFICATION UNITS
-----------------------------------------

7. As of December 2, the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) reported that
the GOB's Department of Public Health Engineering had deployed 10
mobile water purification units in Bagerhat, Barguna, and Pirojpur
districts. Out of these 10 units, 7 are currently functioning to
assist cyclone-affected populations. As of December 3, district and
upazila authorities had distributed 30 water purification units,
according to the Bangladesh military, who had also contributed to
the humanitarian response with 16 units to affected areas.


PASI

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