Sweden’s Princess Victoria sees how water can save lives in visit to Bangladesh with WaterAid

22 March 2024


Download photosH.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria has visited northern Dhaka in Bangladesh where WaterAid has helped bring clean water and better sanitation to thousands of people in the area.

Crown Princess Victoria, who is patron of WaterAid Sweden, viewed a fire protection system, installed by WaterAid and the UN’s Development Programme (UNDP), to ensure that fires, common in the area, can be quickly extinguished or at least managed until the fire brigade arrives.

In the area WaterAid has also installed water stations, taps and toilets that the organisation helped build so that residents do not have to travel far to fetch water.

Around 64 million people in Bangladesh – that’s one in three people - lack access to a reliable source of clean water, while 45% do not have access to functioning toilets. Over 1,000 children under the age of five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation.

The area Crown Princess Victoria visited is densely populated with approximately 14,000 residents, and there are significant problems with functioning water and sanitation infrastructure.

Hasin Jahan, Country Director of WaterAid Bangladesh, said:

It was an honour to welcome H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria and show how access to clean water has improved the communities we work in. The visit demonstrates that collaborations like these are important to highlight that everyone, regardless of circumstances, has the right

to clean water and sanitation. We look forward to continuing to work with innovative solutions and partnerships to build a future where no one is left behind".

Anna Nilsdotter, Chief Executive of WaterAid Sweden, said:

"The Crown Princess is very committed and has broad knowledge of the issues that we at WaterAid work with. Here in Dhaka, and in several other parts of the country, our colleagues have done fantastic work helping improve the lives of many - especially women and children living in poverty.

"The Crown Princess also showed interest in WaterAid's other projects in the country. We have been present in the country for over 35 years and currently work with major Swedish partners such as Lindex, H&M Foundation, and the Swedish Postcode Lottery to ensure that as many people as possible have access to clean water, toilets, and hygiene".

The Crown Princess is in Bangladesh in her role as a goodwill ambassador for the UN Development Programme (UNDP) for the Sustainable Development Goals, but also includes a project visit to WaterAid as the organization's patron. Johan Forssell, Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade and Ulrika Modéer, Assistant Secretary-General of UNDP, have also participated in the visit to Bangladesh.


For more information, please contact:

Katherine Roberts: [email protected]. Or call WaterAid’s press line on 020 7793 4537, or email [email protected].

Notes to Editors:

Download photos

WaterAid is an international not-for-profit determined to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation. We work alongside communities in 22 countries to secure these three essentials that transform people’s lives. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 28 million people with clean water and nearly 29 million people with decent toilets.

 For more information, visit our website wateraid.org/uk, follow us on Twitter @WaterAidUK@WaterAid or @WaterAidPress, or find us on FacebookLinkedIn or Instagram.

  • 703 million people in the world – almost one in ten – don’t have clean water close to home.
  • 2.2 billion people in the world – more than one in four – don’t have safe water.
  • Almost 2 billion people in the world – one in four – lack soap and/or water to wash their hands at home, if they have a place at all.   
  • 1.5 billion people in the world – almost one in five – don’t have a decent toilet of their own.
  • 570 million people in the world – 1 in 14 – have a decent toilet but have to share it with people outside their family. This compromises the privacy, dignity and safety of women and girls.
  • Almost 400,000 children under five die every year due to diseases caused by unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene. That's more than 1000 children a day, or almost one child every one and a half minutes.  
  • Investing in safely managed water, sanitation and hygiene services provides up to 21 times more value than it costs.

[1] WHO/UNICEF (2023). Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene 2000-2022: special focus on gender. Available at: washdata.org/reports/jmp-2023-wash-households-launch (accessed 11 Jul 2023).    

[2] WHO (2023). Burden of disease attributable to unsafe drinking-water, sanitation and hygiene: 2019 update. Available at: who.int/publications/i/item/9789240075610 (accessed 24 Jul 2023).  

[3] WaterAid (2021). Mission-critical: Invest in water, sanitation and hygiene for a healthy and green economic recovery. Available at: washmatters.wateraid.org/publications/mission-critical-invest-water-sanitation-hygiene-healthy-green-recovery (accessed 1 Nov 2023).