Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) and WaterAid Bangladesh jointly launched a new hygiene programme on Wednesday, with the aim of ensuring safe water and sanitation for people living in remote and marginalised areas of the country.
The organisations said that, under the programme, pure water supply and climate resilient sanitation facilities will be improved in five upazilas, directly benefitting at least 173,000 people over the next two years.
The programme, launched at a ceremony at the Hotel Pan Pacific Sonargaon in Dhaka, is the second phase of HSBC and WaterAid’s joint project in Bangladesh and will be implemented by December 2019.
This phase will be implemented in Gangni upazila of Meherpur district, Tahirpur in Sunamganj, Dacope and Paikgacha of Khulna, and Shyamnagar of Satkhira. In these upazilas, implementing partners intend to improve hygiene behaviour among the people by promoting sustainable WASH services.
The project also aims to strengthen the existing formal and informal structures to establish clear channels of accountability. It will promote better resource management in the local government, communities and health facilities, alongside service delivery to highly marginalised and poverty-stricken people living in hard-to-reach areas.
“Climate change poses many challenges towards accessing water, sanitation and hygiene services in the coastal belt of our country,” said WaterAid Bangladesh Country Director Dr Md Khairul Islam, who delivered the concluding remarks at the ceremony.
“The water and sanitation infrastructures in marginal and hard-to-reach areas are fragile, and there is a huge gap between need and actual availability of these services.”
Khairul added that the programme aims to create opportunities to deal with the challenges as well as to bring about a positive and sustainable impact on the lives of many across the most vulnerable areas of Bangladesh.
Md Mahbub-ur Rahman, deputy chief executive officer and country head of commercial banking of HSBC, was present at the event as the special guest, while WaterAid’s Fundraising and Learning Director Dr Imrul Kayes Muniruzzaman gave the introductory speech.