Access to clean water and sanitation not only improves quality of life, but also brings tangible health and economic benefits and contributes to poverty reduction. Women and girls are disproportionally burdened by scarcity of clean drinking water. In most water scarce areas in Bangladesh, women are seen as the collectors, managers, and guardians of water for household chores like cooking, washing, and child rearing. Because of these traditional gender labor roles, women spend around 50% of each day for collecting water. With safe water nearby, women are free to pursue new economic opportunities and improve their families' lives. Although Bangladesh has achieved significant success in increasing access to water and sanitation in recent years, issues such as poor water quality, lack of functional water sources, unsafe sanitation, and poor hygiene behavior, including widespread stigma around menstrual hygiene, still persist in many parts of the country.
Our programme intends to address these issues and make a durable change in the lives of the people through ensuring inclusive and sustainable WaSH services in households, healthcare facilities and schools for the most vulnerable and excluded communities in remote rural areas, including char and haor areas.
A Grim Future
By 2040, 1 in 4 children -- 600 million children -- will live in areas of extremely high water stress. It should come as no surprise that the poorest, most disadvantaged children will suffer the most. An estimated 600 million people live in low-elevation coastal zones that will be affected by progressive salinization and that Bangladesh is one of the worst victims of salinization in water. One of the countries worst affected by saltwater intrusion and groundwater salinization is Bangladesh, where approximately 20 million people living in coastal areas are already affected by drinking water salinity. By 2050, soil salinity in the country is projected to increase by an average of 26%, with increases above 55% expected in some areas.