Sweden Embassy Dhaka and WaterAid collaborate to support 450,000 people in slums and low-income communities through WASH4UrbanPoor project
Sweden Embassy in Dhaka through Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency) and WaterAid Bangladesh signed an agreement on 4 December 2017 for a five-year project called ‘WASH4UrbanPoor’, for slums and low-income communities.
The project aims to reduce water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) deprivations among the urban poor through increased access to climate resilient WASH services, pro-poor local WASH governance, and improved coordination with other services. In its lifetime, the project will reach 450,000 people in slums and low income communities across three major cities (Dhaka, Chittagong and Khulna), and three municipalities (Paikgacha, Shakhipur and Saidpur). The project will also advocate for WASH policy reforms that support better services for the urban poor.
The project is a vital initiative given Bangladesh’s rapid and unplanned urbanisation, said Dr. Md Khairul Islam, Country Director, WaterAid. In Dhaka alone, 40% of the city’s population are slum-dwellers, and many of the half a million inhabitants added each year to the city’s population settle in slum areas. These are massively overcrowded spaces characterised by poor environmental and public health. Under such circumstances, new activities and innovations for the country’s WASH-deprived urban poor population have become a burning necessity.
WASH4UrbanPoor will be implemented from January 2018 to December 2022, with an estimated support of BDT 59 crore. The project marks another important chapter in Sweden’s ongoing support for the urban poor in Bangladesh.