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Water, sanitation and hygiene

UNICEF is working with the Government of Bangladesh and sector partners, to increase the demand for, and benefit from, increased and more equitable utilisation of improved water and sanitation facilities, and practice key hygiene behaviours of households, communities and schools in districts across Bangladesh.

Water Supply
UNICEF is working with a range of government institutions, universities, research organisations, NGOs and community groups to pilot new technologies to ensure safe water where traditional water points are not feasible, due to low water levels, flooding and arsenic contamination. These new technologies, which include Managed Aquifer Recharge and Multiple-point connections, have been piloted and have demonstrated positive results, and as a result, are being scaled-up.  

Water Quality
UNICEF supports the government and partners to collect and analyse data on water point functionality and water quality parameters of wells across Bangladesh, in addition to the development and implementation of Water Safety Plans to improve source and household drinking water quality.

Bangladesh has made huge progress in sanitation over the last 25 years through reducing open defecation from 32% in 1990, to 5% today. UNICEF supports this through social mobilisation of households and communities on the importance of using and maintaining improved latrines through a number of approaches including CATS (community approaches to Total Sanitation) and sanitation marketing.

Hygiene Promotion
Using a range of communication channels, UNICEF supports the dissemination of key messages on hygienic behaviour in households, communities and schools, through the training of government health workers and mass media campaigns.

WASH in Schools
UNICEF supports the provision of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in schools using a range of approaches including “School Led Total Sanitation”, which engages children as change agents in their homes and communities to increase the demand for access to safe water and improved sanitation.

WASH in Urban
Together with government agencies and institutions, NGOs and community groups, UNICEF works to improve the access to water and sanitation in Low Income Communities in selected cities across Bangladesh. These interventions include innovative approaches and partnerships designed to deal with the specific challenges of urban areas including land tenure, limited space and illegal water connections.

Policy Support
At local, district and national levels, UNICEF supports a range of interventions to strengthen the sector, including the development of policies, strategies and guidelines, as well as the development of tools and strategies to improve monitoring. These approaches are complimented by training of sector partners on effective planning, implementation and monitoring of water and sanitation projects to ensure that needs are identified and addressed.

UNICEF is the Cluster lead for the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector and supports the government to improve preparedness, response and recovery activities. Furthermore, UNICEF is represented on a range of technical and advisory committees including the Sector Development Plan Thematic Working Groups and the Local Consultative Group.

Monitoring for Results
Although access to improved water and sanitation facilities is reported as 83% and 55%, respectively, the actual access in terms of facilities which are safe, accessible throughout the year, within a convenient distance and which are accessible to all, is significantly less. The Monitoring for Results approach has been implemented to determine what the bottlenecks are to equitable access, and what corrective actions are necessary to address these bottlenecks.



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