Another 120 hand-washing facilities are going to be set up in the city very soon, according to Dhaka Wasa Managing Director Taqsem A Khan
Rickshaw-puller Ibadul Kazi parks his vehicle before the Shahbagh Birdem Hospital and washes his hands with soap and water at a Dhaka Wasa facility installed there.
Over the last few days, he has developed the habit of washing his hands as "all say it is important to keep myself safe from the coronavirus".
The Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) has set up 50 hand-washing facilities at different points in the city to protect the people on the roads against Covid-19.
But not everyone can avail the facility. A shortage in the supply of water and soap has been depriving the people of the service.
This correspondent tried out the hand-washing facilities at eight areas in the city yesterday, and found that only one of them had soap and six of them had no water in the tanks.
None of the three facilities in Farmgate had a water supply. At 12:30pm yesterday, this correspondent found the two facilities installed in front of the Dhaka Wasa Bhaban at Karwan Bazar had no soap and only one had a water supply.
From the city's Bijoy Sarani to Motijheel Shapla Chattor areas, including Dhaka Medical College Hospital and Central Shaheed Minar, we observed a similar picture all through.
Kamal Hossain, another rickshaw-puller, could not wash his hands as there was no water in the tank at the facility installed in front of the Shezan Point supermarket in Farmgate.
"I thought I could wash my hands but, as you see, there is no water," said Kamal, pointing at the 500-litre water tank set up by Dhaka Wasa.
Dhaka Wasa officials said they would address the issues soon by fielding a mobile team to monitor the facilities.
The soap provided by Wasa is either used up or stolen, they claimed.
Dhaka Wasa Managing Director Taqsem A Khan said many people were wasting water by keeping the taps open while washing their hands.
"We fill water thrice a day, but some water is wasted. We will immediately beef up monitoring," he said.
More facilities on the cards
Dhaka Wasa's managing director also said they would add 20 more hand-washing facilities in the city in a day or two.
Moreover, Dhaka Wasa, Drinkwell and Unilever will jointly set up 100 more handwashing facilities soon near Dhaka Wasa's Water-ATM booths across the city.
Multinational consumer goods company Unilever will provide free soap to the facilities while Drinkwell, which sells Dhaka Wasa's water from 'Water-ATM booths', will supply water tanks and other equipment, said Taqsem A Khan.