In 2015, 65.2 million people used the railway to travel across the country in Bangladesh. With increased highway traffic and unavailability of transport in critical times, the number of train commuters are increasing year on year. These travelers from different socioeconomic strata have basic requirements including access to reliable and clean drinking water. For meeting the needs of these growing railway passengers, WaterAid, Robi and Bangladesh Railway have teamed up to provide free and safe drinking water through the installation of Safe Water Dispensing Systems (SWDS). These SWDS were installed in seven different stations across Bangladesh including the likes of Kamalapur, Airport, Mymensingh, Khulna, Mymensingh and Rajshahi and Chittagong. WaterAid needed LightCastle’s assistance in understanding the effectiveness of the project and the consumer perception of the water provided.
LightCastle conducted a primary survey of users of SWDSs units, who have specific feedbacks and recommendations for further improving service quality. A number of qualitative tools were used, for example- FGDs and KIIs- for better understanding operational status quo and to shed further light on consumer satisfaction level. We also carried out extensive water quality testing through credible water quality testing institutions.
Through an ingenious technology driven approach we also created a system to measure water flow in different SWDS stations. Based on secondary research and discussion with different vendors, two technology devices were selected for piloting In Kamalapur and Mymensingh. The Sensor based manual water tracking measure water flow which is subsequently registered in the meter and the care taker regularly needs to note the water flow reading from the meter. In the sensor GSM based water tracker device, the sensor measures water flow data which is directly sms-ed to two preferred numbers on a periodic basis (every 6 hours). This allowed us to measure the amount of water used by the consumers on a daily basis through real-time data driven results.
- GSM based water tracker devices are installed throughout SWDS stations in order to effectively measure water usage.
- Key insights were gained from our survey of the consumers and water quality testing which helped WaterAid improve overall service quality in SWDS stations and identify key quality factors for the drinking water.