DHAKA, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) — The World Bank has approved 200 million U.S. dollars to help Bangladesh improve access to safe water and sanitation services in rural areas.
The Bangladesh Rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Human Capital Development Project will help about 600,000 people avail safe and clean water through large and small piped water schemes in rural areas, the Washington-based lender said in a statement on Saturday.
Through providing better access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities at homes and in public places and motivating people to adopt proper handwashing practices, the project will help prevent diseases and protect from infectious disease outbreaks, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, it will address urgent WASH needs during the COVID 19 pandemic in a quick and timely way.
It will also provide access to improved sanitation services to over 3.6 million rural people.
Mercy Tembon, World Bank country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan, said, “This project will provide clean water and sanitation services that will reduce diarrheal diseases, improve nutrition, health, and reduce stunting among children under five, and especially benefit those in vulnerable groups. This will help the country to reduce poverty and accelerate economic growth.”
In addition to investing in large and small piped schemes, the project will facilitate loans for households to improve their water and sanitation facilities and for the local WASH entrepreneurs expand their business.
In crowded public spaces-such as markets, bus stations and community clinics, the project will set up about 2,514 handwashing stations with overhead tanks for running water, drainage and sanitation facilities, which will be equipped with soaps.
The project which will be implemented in parts of Bangladesh will facilitate micro-finance loans to about 150 female entrepreneurs to sell sanitary napkins at the doorsteps. Enditem