Over 23 million people in Bangladesh lack access to an improved water source.

43% don't have access to improved sanitation in Bangladesh, over 66 million people.

Over 2,000 children under five die a year due to diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation.

Bangladesh is one of the world’s most densely populated countries. 150 million people are crowded onto low-lying land where annual monsoon floods contaminate water sources and leave millions of people with appalling sanitary conditions.

The crisis

Over 23 million people in Bangladesh lack access to safe water. 43% don't have access to proper toilets – over 66 million people. As a result, more than 7,000 children under five years old die every year.

The annual floods put poor and marginalised people at most risk, leaving them without access to safe water or a decent place to go to the toilet. The effects can be devastating, with disease spreading fast.

Many of the poorest people live in urban slums, without sanitation or safe water supplies all year round. They are forced to pay for illegal, unsafe water, keeping them trapped in poverty.

Our approach

WaterAid is helping communities to build water and sanitation facilities that are more resilient to disasters and the impacts of climate change. With our local partners, we raise people’s awareness of their rights to water and sanitation, and of the links between poor hygiene and health.

Our urban programmes help desperately poor communities living in the slums of major cities to gain access to communal water points and sanitation blocks. Users pay an affordable fee to the community management committee to use the facilities, and the money collected covers the initial set-up cost, water bills, attendants' wages and maintenance.

We work closely with local authorities and the national Government to help them plan, monitor and deliver sustainable water and sanitation services. Together with our partners, we put pressure on service providers to recognise people living in slums as legitimate users of public water facilities, improving their access to safe water.

Our impact

In Bangladesh last year we reached:

  • 451,000 people with safe water
  • 777,000 people with improved sanitation.