National, Front Page

Mega sanitation project for the urban poor

Published : 21 Dec 2021 10:34 PM

The government has undertaken a special project to bring 10 towns and cities of the country under integrated sanitation for ensuring proper healthy environment particularly for the poor and marginalized people.

Integrated Sanitation covers 10 towns and cities - Narsingdi, Jamalpur, Shariatpur, Cumilla, Laxmipur, Pabna, Natore, Sirajganj, Bagerhat and Patuakhali.

The main objective of the project is to ensure sanitation infrastructure services as well as professional protection of sanitation workers, public engagement and prevention of public health and environmental pollution and the spread of waterborne diseases by eliminating the negative risks of climate change. 

The objective of the project is also to ensure universal access to safe, innovative, inclusive, climate and disaster prevention sanitation, health care services for the poor and marginalized people. 

Accountability at various levels of the municipality will be strengthened by developing enterprising business models, eliminating gender inequalities and institutionalizing the life and livelihood opportunities of informal sanitation workers through development of economic and social capabilities and implementation of city-wide integrated sanitation framework and its guidelines. To this end, the project entitled “Integrated Sanitation and Hygiene (Integrated Solid and Human Waste Management)” has been proposed in the Planning Commission. 

The total cost for its implementation will be Tk 559.68 crore. Of this, Tk 84.80 crore will be spent from government funds and Tk 474.88 crore from Islamic Development Bank (IDB) loan assistance.

An official of the planning commission said the PEC (Project Evaluation Committee) meeting was held on September 19 this year after receiving proposals from the local government department. 

The project has been recommended to be presented at the next meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) in compliance with the recommendations made at the meeting, he mentioned. 

If approved, it will be implemented by the Department of Public Health Engineering by December 2026, he added.

Mamun-al-Rashid, a member of the Physical Infrastructure Division of the Planning Commission in charge of the project, said if the project is implemented, it will be possible to increase sanitation coverage in 10 priority cities and towns of the country, including integrated sanitation and hygiene activities. 

  •     Safe sanitation for all  by 2030
  •     The project to cover 10 cities and towns
  •     Sanitation infrastructure services to be ensured
  •     Prevention of waterborne diseases aimed at

The project has been proposed with financial support from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to address the SDG targets along with the Eighth Five-Year Plan, he added.

According to the project proposal, Bangladesh has witnessed rapid urbanization between 2000 and 2010 compared to most of the countries in South Asia. 

As of 2019, about 36.4 percent of the total population is living in cities and towns. About 55 percent of the people are living in slums.

One of the goals of Bangladesh is to provide safe sanitation for all by 2030. Sewage management is crucial for sustainable sanitation management. 

Achieving the SDG target of 6.2 is essential to ensure the safe operation of safe sanitation facilities and services, which can only be achieved through proper management of complete sanitation services. 

Women and children living in urban areas, especially in slums and informal settlements, are at risk of waterborne diseases due to unsafe drinking water and unhealthy environment.

Considering these issues, the government has given importance to urban sanitation, especially fecal sludge management (FSM) as one of the top priorities. 

Following this, the government approved the Institutional and Regulatory Framework (IRF) for FSM in 2013. 

The government has adopted a national action plan outlining the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders at various levels for the rapid and effective implementation of IRF-FSM by 2030.

In accordance with these guidelines, the Department of Public Health Engineering has recently set up a FSM support cell with the financial support of BMGF to facilitate overall planning, development, implementation, practice and monitoring of human waste and solid waste management under Citywide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS).

The government has taken a project proposal to evaluate the feasibility of implementing solid waste and human waste management systems in 53 district level municipalities and 8 city corporations in the country. 

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) has provided technical and financial support for this Technical Assistance Project Proposal. The results of the survey of this technical project are being considered as the basis for investment of government or development partners for subsequent implementation of solid waste and human waste management.

The main activities of the project are: 234 mass design and supervision consultants, capacity building and hygiene awareness, 66 mass consultants, construction of integrated information management system, 10 solid waste treatment and management facilities, 10 human waste treatment and management installations, installation of sludge containers, installation of 19 incinerators, 38 acres of land development, 37 transfer stations, 63 community latrines, 51 D-sledging trucks, 28 drums, 11 road sweeping trucks, 12 diesel generators, 16 different types of equipment, 387 handcarts, 387 rickshaw vans, 258 street hydrants and 258 community bins will be constructed