Water and Sanitation
Diseases associated with poor water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) are a major cause of mortality in Bangladesh. HFH Bangladesh’s WaSH project focuses on three areas: field level research on existing WaSH issues, community awareness training on safe WaSH practices and providing no-profit loans to encourage families to build sanitary latrines.
Rasida Begum in front of her latrine; before (open air pit, above right) and after (new sanitary latrine, above left)
HFH Bangladesh has so far completed 3 studies on WaSH that looks at water born diseases caused by using surface water, appropriate water filtration device and rainwater harvesting systems in specific areas of Bangladesh.
HFH Bangladesh always conducts a baseline community survey when beginning a project in a new area. Evaluations from these surveys revealed that the benefits of using safe water and hygiene practices were not always well communicated or accepted in many rural communities. Hence, Habitat has developed training materials and engages community members to attend awareness building sessions that promote the adoption of safe WaSH practices.
In the project area, Habitat identifies those low-income families that are in great need of WaSH facilities and provides them with sanitary latrines. Habitat also provides gender sensitive and disabled accessible toilets for the schools and market places. Habitat recently started building community bath houses in the urban and rural areas specially designed to provide privacy to women.