ADB Approves Loan For Clean Water Supply, Sanitation Services in Bangladesh

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$90 million loan to develop infrastructure and systems that will provide clean drinking water and sanitation services in Bandarban, Lama, and Rangamati towns in the Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT) region in Bangladesh.

“Most households in the CHT region rely on shared tube wells in remote areas or on untreated surface water, exposing the population to risks of diseases affecting their health and economic opportunities,” said ADB Urban Development Specialist Elma Morsheda.

“The project will deliver a continuous supply of drinking water and promote sanitation and solid waste management in the region, specifically benefitting women who are spending considerable productive time daily collecting water and managing waste.”

ADB’s support will develop water treatment plants with a total capacity of 44 million liters per day in Bandarban, Lama, and Rangamati pourashavas (towns), as well as transmission lines and distribution networks to connect to households.

In Bandarban and Lama, the project will also modernize sanitation and solid waste management systems through rehabilitated public toilets and the provision of vehicles to safely de-sludge fecal sludge and collect solid waste integrated with a geographic information system, and household waste bins with radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to track waste collection. The project will also develop two integrated waste management facilities to treat and manage fecal sludge and solid waste.

To maximise impact and sustainability, a community awareness and behavior change campaign on water, sanitation, hygiene, climate resilience, and solid waste management will be conducted.

The campaign will target 100,000 people, with at least 60% participation from women and the vulnerable population. Around 300 staff (at least 90% of the eligible women staff) of the Department of Public Health Engineering, hill district councils, and pourashavas will be trained on climate-resilient, inclusive, and sustainable water supply, sanitation, and solid waste management service delivery.

The project will also enhance the readiness for implementation of future investments in water supply and sanitation for 31 towns by preparing feasibility studies, detailed designs, and bidding documents following approaches that promote disaster and climate resilience as well as gender equity and social inclusion.