Improved sanitation in Dhaka

The population of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, has increased tenfold over the 40 years since 1971.
Unfortunately, the city’s infrastructure has struggled to keep pace – and around one quarter of the population continue to live in slum conditions.
CHF 75,828
2015 - 2016

These low-income communities lack many basic services – including access to clean water and basic sanitation – resulting in a very high prevalence of waterborne diseases.

French NGO Eau et Vie, through its local affiliate Water & Life, is addressing these problems using a comprehensive and innovative social-enterprise model.

The multiple strands of the program are being developed with local affiliate, Water & Life, which will work through a new social enterprise Shobar Jonno Panni (Water for all) SJP Ltd, to bring safe water and sewerage services to slum residents who are beyond the reach of the local water utility.

The program’s main focus is securing fresh water supplies and effective sanitation for the community at a reasonable cost. In addition to water distribution, the program also provides a complete billing, collection and maintenance service.

The program will also tackle two further water-related problems. First, improving awareness of basic hygiene: often through measures as simple as encouraging hand washing. Second, it will build fire-fighting capacity in the slum – which will be achieved by dramatically improving the reliability of the area’s water infrastructure, and basic training in firefighting skills.

The program aims to improve the livelihoods of 3,600 families – or around 16,200 individuals – living in the Bhashantek low-income community. It will also benefit the environment around the slum’s communal areas, such as schools, healthcare centers and mosques.

Using innovative financial models based on social entrepreneurship, Eau et Vie works with local communities and local authorities to promote small-scale water-based projects in deprived urban areas. It is also implementing projects of this type in the Philippines and Cote d’Ivoire.