Citywide Inclusive Sanitation Engagement, CWISE

Transforming lessons from an earlier Gates project to enable the delivery of safe emptying services for 1 million people.



Although Bangladesh and its partners have been successful in reducing open defecation practice to nearly zero, the state of faecal sludge management and services are, among others, slowing down SDG 6 progress. Clearly, ending open defecation practice does not automatically translate to sustainable and scalable health gains. There is a need to systematically and structurally introduce sanitation and hygienic practice across the full sanitation value chain. And, to take sanitation achievements to scale through the establishment of citywide and inclusive safely managed sanitation services.

CWISE is SNV and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s pledge to enable the delivery of safe emptying services to 1 million people in Bangladesh and increase household uptake of safely managed sanitation services by 30% in the slum communities of Khulna. It is an urban sanitation project, that builds on the success, findings and results of an earlier partnership, which established the willingness of different consumer segments to pay for sanitation services; introduced an end-to-end desludging service; contributed to the development of the national government’s Institutional and Regulatory Framework (IRF) for Faecal Sludge Management (FSM); installed a faecal sludge plant in Khulna; and reanimated existing faecal sludge plants in Jhenaidah and Kushtia.

Started in January 2018, CWISE is a three-year project that is being implemented with Khulna City Corporation, Jhenaidah and Kushtia Paurashava, and in coordination with the national FSM Network, the project has three key outcomes.

Towards achieving the above, CWISE is applying SNV’s Urban Sanitation and Hygiene for Health and Development (USHHD) approach, which is in pursuit of institutionalising a sanitation chain that is inclusive, sustainable and scalable.

Some examples of CWISE activities per USHHD component are presented below:

  • WASH governance regulations and enforcement: translation of IRF guidelines to actionable City Sanitation Action Plans for the three CWISE cities, and co-development of the national government’s IRF National Action Plan.

  • Smart finance and investment: business model development for septic tank/ pit emptying services, and introduction of a sanitation tax to sustain urban sanitation progress.

  • BCC and awareness: consumer demand creation for professional FSM services.

  • Safe and affordable services: co-development of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) standards for emptiers and training opportunities, introduction of a health insurance scheme for emptiers, and establishment of an Integrated Municipal Information System (IMIS) to improve FSM services (and overall municipal services) monitoring and planning.

  • Treatment, disposal and re-use: introduction of safe treatment of faecal sludge and outlet water quality measures, and re-use of dried sludge (e.g., as co-compost fertiliser or briquettes/ charcoal.

News and stories


The beginnings of a promising faecal sludge management system

Jhenaidah FSTP aerial shot

How to deliver containments that protect our groundwater

Masons in Indonesia during an SNV-led practical workshop on septic tank installation

What does water mean to young people?

Where the water meets the roadside (Tahsinul Haque for SNV and HOV in Bangladesh)
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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation