Water and Life
Rural migration in Bangladesh has increased ahead of local authorities’ ability to develop appropriate infrastructure in many urban areas.
As a result, millions of city dwellers live in insanitary slums. Residents generally lack access to basic services, including clean water and effective sanitation, which local utilities struggle to supply.
The JTI Foundation will support partner Water & Life Bangladesh to improve living conditions for low income communities in Dhaka and Chittagong, the two largest cities in the country.
To address a lack of water and waste services – and related issues of hygiene and fire services – Water & Life is implementing a holistic and innovative approach to service delivery using a comprehensive and innovative social enterprise model. This aims to deliver on five water-related goals:
- Improving clean water supplies – by connecting 5,400 households to the water network
- Improving fire-fighting capacity – through training and equipping 186 volunteers
- Improving sanitation – rehabilitating or building 320 hygienic toilets
- Developing solid-waste management infrastructure, and
- Promoting hygiene – through awareness raising campaigns attended by 7,800 people
This project has been developed at the request of a number of local government organizations and municipal utilities, and is aligned with the Bangladesh government’s national development strategy and UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The project’s sustainability is further assured through a process of knowledge transfers to in-country teams that already comprise 83% local residents with a vested interest in the long-term success of the project.
It is hoped that an estimated 21,816 inhabitants in Dhaka and Chittagong will benefit.
Water & Life has been operating in Bangladesh since 2010, and has an excellent track record of community engagement and successfully implementing programs using its innovative social enterprise model. The program’s water provision and waste removal elements will be provided by Shobar Jonno Pani Ltd (SJP) – a social enterprise responsible for water supply, maintenance and bill collection – which provides services on a commercial but socially responsible basis.
The JTI Foundation funded a Water & Life pilot project in 2016.