Strengthening WASH systems in Bangladesh

by Anisul Azam Khan BA (Hons) MA,
Chief Executive, LORDS Bangladesh

WASH means Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.   People cannot live with out WASH. It is the part and parcel of a human  life. WASH is the symbol of civilization in the modern age. We say water is life: according to scientists, all kinds of species of life originated in water, a human body  is 70% water, and all  civilization was created in river basins. I don’t want to write more about water.

Sanitation is another vital  component of human life. The symbol of modern  civilization means sanitation system of a home. A dirty and  unhygienic toilet is the symbol of poor civilization.  A comparatively clean healthy toilet is the symbol of civilization. Once upon a time our society used dirty toilets, historically in Bangladesh this is not long ago. In our Society before hundred years a few numbers of people using sanitary latrine and rest of the people were non user of sanitary latrine.

Hygiene is the most important component of human life. Hygiene is divided into two parts: one is personal hygiene and another is community hygiene. Personal hygiene means – hand washing, mouth washing, cleaning the body and regular cutting of pubic hair, and regular cutting of nails etc.

Since the liberation war in 1971, Government and Non-Government Organisations  have been doing social movement WASH programmes all over the Bangladesh. But it is not sufficient for our society!  Bangladesh is a disaster-prone delta region. Every year, millions of people are affected by floods in the north and the  coastal belt of southern Bangladesh is hit by cyclones every year and the dreams of million people are destroyed. At the same time our WASH system is also demolished by the cyclone and flood every year.

The WASH system of Bangladesh needs to be strong and sustainable. It must be inclusive in its approach, not only benefiting a few people. WASH has to be for all! It is a basic human right for all people in society: men, women and children, the rich and the poor, all types of people have the right to access the WASH system. So, WASH systems need to available for all across the country, in both rural and urban areas, and they need to withstand the shocks of floods and cyclones.

We need measures for sustainable WASH systems in Bangladesh. From practical experience I recommend:

  1. All handpump platforms should be constructed with stronger and higher foundations so that the pump is above the high level of flood water in flood risk and cyclone-prone areas.
  2. All latrines in flood risk and cyclone-prone areas should be constructed with a stronger foundation that is above the likely floodwater level.
  3. In our country all people should maintain personal hygiene as well as community hygiene practice, as for example: regularly washing hands, wearing clean and hygienic clothes etc. Its need to campaign all over the country.

My name is Anisul Azam Khan, I have completed B.A(Hons), M.A in Social Work at Rajshahi Universityi, Bangladesh. Now I am volunteer with WaterAid Bangladesh. I have worked with National an International NGOs, such as PIACT Bangladesh, Dhaka Ahsania Mission, DPHE-DANIDA Project and Enfants du Monde(EDM Bangladesh). I am committed to establishing Local Resource Development Society (LORDS Bangladesh) A Non-Profit, Non-Political Development Organization.

Our goal is to improve the lifestyle of marginalised people, and our objectives are:

  • To develop capable human resources & skill development training.
  • To develop technical assistance for marginal People.
  • To promote Social Development activities.
  • To provide relief &Rehabilitation support to the disaster people after natural calamities

Notes: Local Resource Development Society (LORDS) Bangladesh is registered with the Directorate of Social Service Govt. of The People Republic of Bangladesh Vide Registration No Dha-06268. Rupayan Kutir, 33 North Road, Dhanmondi, Dhaka-1205 Bangladesh


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