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Water and Sanitation

Bangladesh has during the last couple of decades made significant achievements in the water supply and sanitation sector. Access to domestic water supply through affordable and easy to install hand pumps is common in the rural areas. Significant improvement in sanitation coverage is also being achieved through Community-Led Total Sanitation Campaign and many other initiatives.

Why is Denmark involved in water and sanitation?

Despite the improvements in the coverage of both sanitation and water supply, many issues still hamper the delivery of sustainable water and sanitation services. Some of the challenges include the need for institutional reforms, modernization and strengthening of sector institutions and not least of the LGIs (Local Government Institutions), especially the Pourashavas and Union Parishads (UP), including the development of regulatory frameworks etc.

The prevailing problem of arsenic contamination of groundwater and the lowering of the ground water table due to excessive extraction of groundwater for irrigation also continues to be a real challenge in terms of sustainable improvement of the water supply coverage. Sector policies and strategies have been developed in a large number of areas (with decentralization as a prominent exception) but so far the government of Bangladesh has not succeeded in setting up a common framework for future development. 


How is Denmark involved in water and sanitation?

Danida has been supporting the water supply and sanitation sector in Bangladesh for more than three decades. Many impressive achievements have been made over the years in terms of improved water supply and sanitation coverage, especially in the coastal belt region where at least 3-4 millions of people have received improved access to hygienic sanitation and portable drinking water.

The support had also included assistance to ITN at the technical university BUET to introduce appropriate technologies in the curriculum of the engineering students and support to establish a policy unit in LGD and to develop several policies. A major strategic challenge in the years to come will be to ensure Government of Bangladesh’s ownership in terms of policy and strategy development through a mainstreaming of these functions into the normal government system and a gradual phasing out of a project approach to institutional and capacity development in the sector.

The first phase of Danish support to this sector took place from 1999 – 2005 and the second phase took place from 2006-2010.

The third phase of Danish support to the water and sanitation sector (entitled Support to the Water Supply and Sanitation Sector - SWSSS) has a duration of 4 years (2012-2015) and comprises of two components:

  1. ‘The Sector Policy Support Component’ and
  2. ‘The HYSAWA Fund Component’.

The Danida contribution to the SWSSS totals DKK 200 million (BDT 260 crore).


Project targets and achievements:

In the current project, HYSAWA targeted to benefit about 2 million people directly, 5 million more people indirectly. 

  • About 2.3 million people already received hygiene and sanitation messages.

  • 5600 UP functionaries have received formal training so far

  • 850,000 people have been brought under safe water access against target of 1,100,000.

  • 300,000 houses have built/improved their household latrines with their own resources motivated by PNGOs, thus 1.5 million people brought under hygienic sanitation.

  • 16,000 water and 300 sanitation infrastructures are built so far against the target of 18,000 water and 500 sanitation infrastructures.

  • About 6,000 schools are brought under hygiene promotion program, 2,000 existing school latrines are planned to renovate with running water supply.

Furthermore, in the previous phase (2008-11) about 3.5 million people received direct hygiene and sanitation messages and about 1.5 million people came under safe water access. 800,000 houses improved their latrines with own resources.