Bangladesh is the most densely populated country in the world, where in the cities of Dhaka and Chittagong, one in four slum dwellers have no access to public services.
Approximately 23.5 million people lack access to an improved water source, and of this, 43% do not have access to improved sanitation: many communities continually rely on outdoor defecation and open air sewage systems. These activities take place near rivers and other water sources which increases the spread of water-borne diseases.
As a result, more than 51,000 children under the age of 5 perish each year from easily preventable diarrhoeal illnesses. Hygiene and faecal management is a significant problem in both rural and urban areas, where local populations are rapidly rising yet adequate sewerage facilities are lacking.
This is an 8 month project in which AKF’s partner, Global One (GO) will construct fifty communal toilets in the Nandail Upazila of the Mymensingh District in the Division of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Nandail is one such area that is home to rural communities affected by low development, marginalisation and climate change, placing communities, especially women and their children, in an increasingly disadvantaged position regarding WASH practice and services.
The overall objective here is to improve access to sanitation facilities and encourage regular hygiene practices for the beneficiaries and to reduce the prevalence of diarrhoeal illnesses.
This will be achieved in an environmentally sustainable way by using Ecological Sanitation (EcoSan) methods, where improved facilities can reach individuals in deprived areas.
EcoSan latrines will reuse the waste as it biodegrades to an organic fertiliser. The compost will become pathogen free after a period of between 6 months to a year and can then be used for fertiliser for farming. The users can benefit from selling and using the high-nutrient compost to enhance their livelihoods.
The project will incorporate an element of community sensitization towards the improvement of sanitation practices by creating awareness campaigns.
Training and workshops will be run on different hygiene practices to change social and cultural attitudes towards dealing with faeces through a faith-inspired approach focusing on the importance of cleanliness and hygiene in Islam.