Mirpur, in northwest Dhaka, is an area that comprises largely middle-income housing, and a few housing schemes for the poor, built by the Government of Bangladesh. It is also characterised by poor water and sanitation services, and some of the biggest slums and squatter settlements in the city.
The slums are generally established on marginal land that is prone to flooding, or adjacent to roads that were not developed as part of the formal housing developments. Overall, the area is congested - in terms of people, housing and traffic; and electricity services are poor.
The WSUP Dhaka programme aims to improve water, sanitation and hygiene services for over 100,000 low-income consumers in Dhaka City, while building the capacity of Dhaka Water and Sewerage Authority (DWASA) and Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) to extend these crucial services to all citizens across the city.
Dhaka City comprises 90 wards of which three in the vicinity of Mirpur are targeted for this programme. Approximately 70% of households are using unhygienic latrines, and there is currently no access to safe drinking water. Slum dwellers are dependent on local vendors for water and they pay almost 10 times as much as those who receive their supplies from DWASA.
Key Achievements to Date
Demonstrated models of service delivery to the urban poor
Sustainable service improvements for 6,500 urban poor for water and 9,500 for sanitation, demonstrating replicable models for the city’s 4,000,000 low income consumers
School hygiene campaign launched in partnership with Unilever’s Lifebuoy brand, targeting 2 million people form low income urban areas
Community led contracting process established in areas where service improvements are being made, demonstrating a less externally driven and more user-led process of urban development
Strengthened institutional capacity to sustain improvement process
Support for establishment and capacity development of central low income consumer (LIC) unit in city utility. Definition of unit’s role, strategy and training of staff to implement service improvements for Dhaka’s 4 million low income consumers
Assistance provided to Government of Bangladesh in the development of a city sanitation plan
Investment mobilised for scale up of models
Substantial funding mobilised to assist city utility to extend the programme to new peri-urban communities
Tania is one of the many adolescent girls living in Kalshi Balur Math Slum in Dhaka, Bangladesh – one of WSUP’s programme areas. She is also a leader of the Adolescent Girls Group, whose aim is to raise awareness of menstrual hygiene.