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‘99.9pc slum households getting safe drinking water’

Drinking Water
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FT ONLINE

Over 99.9 percent households are accessing to safe drinking water from improved water sources, according to a research finding.

Besides, over 99 percent people are availing 20 litres of water each per day, a 75 percentage point increase against baseline.

WaterAid Bangladesh unveiled the current status of using water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) among the urban poor in a dissemination event held at Bangabandhu International Convention Center on Wednesday, said a press release.

The findings came from the project titled “Promoting Environmental Health for Urban Poor” (PEHUP) implemented in slums and low-income communities in three cities of the country – Dhaka, Chittagong and Khulna, covering a total of 170 slums from November 2011 to June 2017.

Planning commission member Zuena Aziz was present at the event as the Chief Guest while Anders Ohrstrom, Charge the Affairs, Embassy of Sweden, Dhaka was the special guest.

Zuena Aziz said, “It is possible to ensure proper sanitation system and hygiene only when we would create awareness among the mass people. In this context, NGOs should have to drive more awareness campaigns regularly.”

Speakers mentioned that the percentage of households using illegal sources of water has decreased from 33 percent to only 1.7 percent at the end line.

Over 80 percent of households use improved hygienic latrines, compared to 7.9 percent of households in baseline findings. Over 88 percent people washed their hands with soap after defecation compared to 32 percent at baseline.

They also stated almost 98 percent of children and more than 92 percent of women have access to improved latrines, whereas only 7 percent and 9 percent had access respectively during the baseline. Over 80 percent of households practice safe disposal of feces of under-5 children against 40 percent during the baseline.

With the financial support of the Swedish International Development
Cooperation Agency (SIDA) WaterAid has implemented the project PEHUP in Bangladesh.

This project has been implemented in partnership with four local NGOs naming Dushtha Shasthya Kendra (DSK), Concerned Women for Family Development (CWFD), Nabolok, and Association for Realisation of Basic Needs (ARBAN).

The aim of the project was to contribute to the national goal and MDG (thereafter SDG) related to environmental health through ensuring access to safe drinking water, improved sanitation, and adoption of desired hygiene practices.

WaterAid Bangladesh Country Director Dr M Khairul Islam and Director General of NGO Affairs Bureau Khandakar Rakibur Rahman were also present at the event along with other dignitaries.

-NK

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