Valuing water: the importance of clean water for garment industry workers

March 2021: The readymade garment industry is the lifeline of the Bangladesh economy. Yet, the workers in these factories who live in nearby low-income communities lack access to clean water, safe sanitation, and handwashing facilities.

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Around 60 million people in Bangladesh currently live in urban areas, and this number is rising fast.

Climate change events like land erosion, flooding and droughts are driving more people to towns and cities every year, putting extra strain on already stretched water and sanitation resources.

Nearly half the population in urban areas have no access to improved sanitation facilities, impacting their health, safety, dignity and economic opportunities. For densely-packed urban communities this can mean raw sewage drains directly into rivers.

WSUP has worked in Bangladesh since 2008, supporting service providers in Dhaka, Chattogram, Rangpur and Barishal. In this time we’ve focused on economically and environmentally sustainable measures to increase access to safe and affordable water and sanitation in the poorest urban communities.


If we can systematically collect the faecal waste and dispose it in a planned manner, then our dream of a Green City may come true.

Mayor of Rangpur
Mostafizar Rahman Mostafa, Mayor of Rangpur

Blog: November 2020 – How climate change is worsening sanitation in Bangladesh, Rangpur

November 2020: Unusual rainfall this year left residents in Rangpur, one of the main cities in Bangladesh, with little or no access to sanitation facilities. Without concerted action, the living conditions of the poorest may get worse.

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Report: June 2020 – Referee! Responsibilities, regulations and regulating for urban sanitation

This Discussion Paper synthesises experience from Eastern and Southern Africa and Bangladesh to explore the evolving role of regulators in driving urban sanitation service improvements. In Bangladesh it looks at the broad assignment of institutional responsibilities for sanitation.

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Dirty water_ John Laing

Blog: March 2020 – From the front line of climate change: residents tell their stories

What does climate change mean for the most vulnerable people living in urban areas? We give a snapshot of the challenges faced around the world, from rising temperatures in Bangladesh to destruction of water systems in Mozambique.

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Community leader in Dhaka

Urban Sanitation Research Initiative Bangladesh logo

Project: September 2019 – Analysing citizen and decision-maker attitudes to urban freshwater pollution

This project aimed to understand the attitudes of Bangladeshi decision-makers and citizens on urban freshwater pollution and contribute to the development of an effective and politically viable regulatory model for discharge of faecal sludge and industrial pollutants.

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Collecting water in Dhaka

To find out how you can support our work in Bangladesh, please contact us at or call us on +44 (0)20 7822 1867.