Transitioning to sustainable urban water cycles in Bangladesh



A Dutch-financed SNV project that contributes to the water security of Bangladesh by advancing good governance over urban sanitation.

Supporting the Government of Bangladesh to adopt and replicate best practices in sanitation, solid waste, and stormwater management.

Transitioning to sustainable urban water cycles in Bangladesh is a five-year project (2022-2027) supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bangladesh that introduces improvements in the sanitation governance and management of 12 cities.

The project will be conducted in arid, saline, disaster-prone, and/or rapidly growing cities in Bangladesh, carefully chosen for their geographical and ecological characteristics. Project activities aim to lessen the negative impacts of climate change on city sanitation systems and its repercussions on people's health, well-being, and living environment.

The project, which is run by SNV,[1] is carried out in close coordination with pertinent national governmental departments, such as the Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) and the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED). It builds on nine years of SNV urban sanitation learning and programming in southern Bangladesh,[2] adapting and implementing those approaches best suited for each of the 12 cities.

Overall, the project prompts citywide systemic changes through the co-creation of an adaptable sustainable urban water cycle governance model that considers sanitation management as a crucial component in service delivery and climate resilience building.

Systems improvements include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Strengthening national and local monitoring tools for sanitation and solid waste management and institutionalising annual performance agreements (APAs) between the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives (MoLGRD&C) and local government institutions (city corporations and municipalities).

  • Promoting best practices and collaboration across national government projects and stakeholders, e.g., City-Wide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS) Support Cell and the Capacity Building Hub hosted by the International Training Network Centre of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (ITN-BUET).

  • Leveraging private funding for sanitation and solid waste management operation and maintenance and capital expenditure (CAPEX) and co-developing Public–Private Partnership (PPP) guidelines to ensure effectiveness and accountability.

The project is expected to contribute to public and environmental health improvements in city life for approximately 1.8 million people.

Photo: Improving solid waste management to protect riverbeds and contribute to our water security (SNV Bangladesh)
More information
[1] Contact Shahidul Islam below to learn more about this project and SNV's urban water cycles and sanitation track record in Bangladesh.
[2] This project builds on the lessons and sanitation progress realised through the Government of the Netherlands-funded WASH SDG programme, and two Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-supported programmes: Citywide Inclusive Sanitation (CWISE) and Pro-poor market-based solutions for faecal sludge management.

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