The World Bank will provide $200 million for safe water and sanitation services in rural areas.
A financing agreement was signed on Tuesday between the government and the global lender, under which 3.6 million people will get access to hygienic sanitation facilities and about 600,000 people will get clean water.
The Rural Water, Sanitation, Hygiene (WASH) for Human Capital Development project will help improve water and sanitation services in rural areas in 78 upazilas, covering Sylhet, Chattogram, Rangpur, and Mymensingh divisions.
Households and entrepreneurs will also have access to microcredits for water and sanitation facilities under the project. About 309,000 of the poorest households will receive fully subsidized toilets.
Mercy Tembon, World Bank country director for Bangladesh, said safe water, sanitation, and hygiene practices were important for ensuring better health and building human capital. The project will help prevent diseases and protect citizens from Covid-19 and other infectious diseases by increasing access to quality water and sanitation services at home and public spaces as well as by promoting hand-washing behavior.
About 312 public toilets and 2,514 hand-washing stations will be installed at crowded public places, such as markets and bus stations. About 1,280 community clinics will have new or renovated facilities, both for patients and medical purposes.
Over the last decades, Bangladesh has made commendable progress in terms of access to water supply and elimination of open defecation, said Fatima Yasmin, of the Economic Relations Division. Further investments will ensure that all citizens in cities and villages have access to safe and improved water and sanitation facilities. That will help Bangladesh achieve Sustainable Development Goals.
The credit from the World Bank's International Development Association, has a 30-year term, including a five-year grace period.