The government is focusing more on the safe water supply and extending sanitation and hygiene facilities into rural areas as part of its fight against coronavirus as well as SDG commitment.
To this end, it is going to implement a Tk 19 billion project to make available water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities for 8.5 million rural people in 98 upazilas of 30 districts.“Once the project is implemented, it’ll be possible to supply safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene with running water facility to curb Covid-19 infections in rural areas of the upazilas,” said Mamun Al Rashid, a member of the Planning Commission’s Physical Infrastructure Division.
Through the initiative, the institutional capacity of the local government institutions will also enhance, he hoped.
The ‘Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene for Human Resource Development Project’ is set to be placed at the next meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) for its approval, sources at the Planning Commission said.
The Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) will implement the project by 2025 once it gets the Ecnec approval.
Aligned with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the government is committed to ensuring improved water supply and sanitation facilities for all by 2030 alongside building institutional capacity of the local government institutions.
At the same time, it has a pledge to expand the piped water supply coverage to rural areas along with improved operation, and increase the use of sanitary toilets there, according to sustainable global development agenda.Primarily, the project will contribute to improving livelihoods with the supply of piped water in problematic areas, which is expected to have positive impacts on nutrition, health and education of rural population.
It will also mobilise private organisations’ capital for financing WASH services apart from focusing on better human waste management and climate-friendly sanitation facility to cut the surface and underground water pollution.
The proposed project is also expected to contribute to controlling Covid-19 pandemic and water-borne diseases through increased WASH facilities in crowded areas and schools.
The World Bank will provide the lion’s share of the project cost with Tk 18.33 billion while Tk 508.2 million will be provided from the state coffer.
Under the proposed project, 78 large piped water supply schemes and another for piped water supply in 3,364 communities will be implemented alongside constructing improved toilets for 351,270 extreme poor and 882 handwash stations to prevent Covid-19.
In addition, 352 public sanitation and hygiene facilities will be developed and the facility will be provided for 500 community clinics while running water facility will be given to 780 community clinics.
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) will also implement a segment of the project with the World Bank fund.