The Embassy of Sweden in Dhaka and WaterAid Bangladesh have joined hands to implement a five-year project titled WASH4UrbanPoor to alleviate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) crisis among the urban poor population in Bangladesh.
The Swedish Embassy signed an agreement with WaterAid through Sida – Swedish International Development Corporation Agency – to eliminate sanitation and hygiene complications among slum residents and low-income people in the urban areas through providing increased access to climate-resilient WASH services, pro-poor local WASH governance, and improved coordination with other services, according to a press statement issued on Monday.
The project marks another important chapter in Sweden’s ongoing support for the urban poor in Bangladesh, the statement added.
The WASH4UrbanPoor project aims to reach 450,000 urban poor across three major cities – Dhaka, Chittagong and Khulna – and three municipalities – Paikgacha, Shakhipur and Saidpur.
The project is a vital initiative given Bangladesh’s rapid and unplanned urbanization, said Dr Md Khairul Islam, country director of WaterAid Bangladesh.
In Dhaka alone, 40% of the city’s population live in slums, and many of the 500,000 inhabitants added each year to the city’s population settle in slum areas. These are massively overcrowded spaces characterized by poor environmental and public health, according to the press statement.
Under such circumstances, new activities and innovations for the country’s WASH-deprived urban poor population have become a burning necessity, the statement further added.
WASH4UrbanPoor will be implemented from January 2018 to December 2022, with an estimated cost of Tk59 crore.