Hanchett, Monju, Akhter (K.R.), Akhter (S.), and Islam
Water Culture in South Asia
Left Coast Press 2014
Water is life in Bangladesh. Based on five researchers long-term involvement with water development programs in eight districts, this book introduces the reader to the vast range of meanings that water has in this South Asian country, where ordinary villagers struggle daily for access to safe supplies. Mythology, ancient sciences, folklore, and language provide a rich cultural foundation sustaining villagers water-related beliefs and domestic practices. Large numbers of people in the study area face the daunting challenge of arsenic in their water supply. Reactions to this serious problem are explored through case studies and insights based on the authors many years of field experience. This book will help to sensitize scientifically oriented development workers to the ways that that cultural frameworks influence people s understandings and uses of new ideas and technologies. Focusing on WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) strategies, domestic supply issues, and people s ideas about water s qualities and powers, the authors introduce new ways to engage with the social and cultural context of a development project.