Accessing safe water: World Bank approves $200m for Bangladesh

The World Bank (WB) has approved $200 million to help Bangladesh improve access to safe water and sanitation services in rural areas.

The Bangladesh Rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Human Capital Development Project will help about 600,000 rural people avail safe and clean water through large and small piped water schemes, said a WB press release.

It will also provide access to improve sanitation services to over 3.6 million rural people.

Through providing better access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) facilities at homes and in public places and motivating people to adopt proper handwashing practices, the project will help prevent diseases and protect from infectious disease outbreaks, including the Covid-19 pandemic.

Further, it will address urgent WASH needs during the Covid-19 pandemic in a quick and timely way.

"Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in providing access to basic water supply to all and end open-defecation. However, the quality of water and sanitation and the link between safe water and sanitation and human capital development remains a challenge," said Mercy Tembon, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan.

"This project will provide clean water and sanitation services that will reduce diarrheal diseases, improve nutrition, health, and reduce stunting among children under five, and especially benefit those in vulnerable groups. This will help the country reduce poverty and accelerate economic growth," she said.

However, the project will cover 78 upazilas in Mymensingh, Rangpur, Chattogram, and Sylhet divisions.