Municipal Association of Bangladesh MAB

City Wide Inclusive Sanitation Program

In 1951, Bangladesh was mostly a rural country and only 4% of the population lived in urban centres. As of 2011, Bangladesh has an urban population of 28%. The rate of urban population growth is estimated at 2.8%. At this growth rate, Bangladesh’s urban population will reach 79 million or 42% of the population by 2035. The urban centers of Bangladesh have a combined area of about 10600 square kilometers, which is 7% of the total area of Bangladesh. As such, Bangladesh has a very high urban population density: 4028 persons per square kilometre (2011). The number of municipalities have tripled from 104 municipalities in 1991 to 329 as on 2019.

Bangladesh has made significant progress in reducing open defecation, from 34 percent in 1990 to just one percent of the national population in 2015.However, the current rate of improved sanitation is 61 percent, growing at only 1.1 percent annually. Planning and service delivery are often supply driven, and government agencies have overlapping functions and pay insufficient attention to operation and maintenance issues causing waterborne diseases are widespread, which fuels rapid transmission of gastrointestinal pathogens that can have disastrous impact on health and nutrition.

Bangladesh has witnessed a remarkable growth in on-site sanitation facilities throughout the country over the last decade. The major progress in urban sanitation during this period is the elimination of open defecation amongst the poorest quintile through use of on-site sanitation (OSS) facilities. However, the on-site sanitation systems in Bangladesh have been developed without any consideration to the management of faecal sludge. Increasing use of on-site sanitation facilities has generated a large demand for faecal sludge management (FSM) to keep the toilets operational. In the absence of effective FSM services, the huge quantities of faecal sludge generated in septic tanks and pits are often discharged in low-lying areas, sewers, and in lakes and canals, leading to serious environmental degradation. Although the problems associated with FSM is widespread, there is limited data and information on FSM practices in urban areas. There are significant differences in institutional set up and FSM practices among and within the Paurashavas, and proper understanding of the situation is a pre-requisite for development of workable FSM system.

To address the Sanitation challenge and to cover SDG 6.2, the government has adopted policies that could remedy the challenges in the sector e.g. National Strategy for Water Supply and Sanitation 2014 and Institutional and Regulatory Framework for FSM for Paurashavas and National Action Plan for Implementation of IRF for FSM 2019.

Municipalities in Bangladesh (Paurashavas) other than City Corporations authorities are responsible for management of on-site sanitation facilities (and hence faecal sludge management). As a result, the limited FSM initiatives in these large and high-density urban areas are continuing in an uncoordinated, and not yielding desired results. Among the different components/ elements of faecal sludge management, the emptying/collection services are available in the urban areas studied. Manual emptying, though very hazardous and often more expensive than mechanical emptying, are being practiced in all urban areas. Mechanical desludging services, initiated by some NGOs, Private Sector and Paurashavas, suffer from certain limitations.

A safely managed sanitation chain is essential to protecting the health of individuals and communities and the environment. Leaking latrines and raw wastewater can spread disease and provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes, as well as pollute groundwater and surface water that may serve as potential sources of drinking water.

The SDG indicator at a glance:

Indicator 6.2.1 “Proportion of population using (a) safely managed sanitation services and (b) a hand-washing facility with soap and water

Indicator 6.2.1a on sanitation tracks the proportion of population that is using an improved sanitation facility, which is not shared with other households, and where the excreta produced is either

  • treated and disposed in situ,
  • stored temporarily and then emptied and transported to treatment off-site,
  • or transported through a sewer with wastewater and then treated off-site.

Improved sanitation facilities include flush/pour flush to piped sewer system, septic tanks or pit latrines; ventilated improved pit latrines, composting toilets or pit latrines with slabs.

Indicator 6.2.1b on hygiene tracks the proportion of population with a handwashing facility with soap and water on premises.

Handwashing facilities may be fixed or mobile and include a sink with tap water, buckets with taps, tippy-taps, and jugs or basins designated for handwashing. Soap includes bar soap, liquid soap, powder detergent, and soapy water.

Household surveys and censuses (from the National Statistical Office) remain the primary source of information on the different types of facilities used by the population, complemented with information on service levels collected from administrative sources and regulators.

Thresholds for 6.2

  • Wastewater treatment – At least secondary (or primary with long outfall)
  • Faecal sludge management – Both solid and liquid fractions
  • Safe disposal in situ – Septic tanks/latrines that are not emptied
  • And well contained

Countries own the monitoring and reporting of the SDGs, and the 2030 Agenda clearly specifies that global follow-up and review ‘will be primarily based on national official data sources’

The capacity of countries to report on the SDG 6 global indicators varies, and efforts are needed to incorporate the global SDG indicator framework into national monitoring systems. Although a large quantity of water and sanitation data exist at the country level, it may be scattered across stakeholders, and substantial resources and capacity-building may be required to close data gaps and harmonize reporting.

The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (JMP) has reported country, regional and global estimates of progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) since 1990

In Bangladesh Municipal Association of Bangladesh (MAB) was initiated in July 2003with the greater interest of citizens of the urban areas especially strengthening capacity for the Municipalities.

Since, the Role of MAB became more significant throughout its political life by advocating to develop enabling policies and adequate resource channelling for municipalities. Thus further opportunities lying with the policy advocacy for MAB would be contribution to developing appropriate regulatory frameworks to address Poverty eradication, Infrastructure provisions, Mapping for regional balance in structuring urbanization, Addressing WASH and FSM and meet increased demand for housing and urban services.

Municipalities Association of Bangladesh in collaboration with Govt. departments, Development partners has been number of development programs for the enhancing the capacity of Municipalities to address Pro poor local Governance. Also addressing the SDG Goal 6 and SDG 11 became integrated part of MAB objectives.

MAB City Wide Inclusive Sanitation Program

In 2017 MAB has been mandated by United Cities and Local Governments Asia Pacific (UCLG ASPAC)  to implement a project titled Municipalities Network Advocacy on Sanitation in South Asia with the Goal of strengthening capacity of municipalities and Municipal Associations to contribute in designing and implementing robust and effective policies and in developing sustainable financing strategies on sanitation particularly on Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) and Non-Sewered Sanitation (NSS).

Municipalities Association of Bangladesh in collaboration with Govt. departments, Development partners has been implementing a number of development programs for the enhancing the capacity of Municipalities to address Pro poor local Governance. Also addressing the SDG Goal 6 and SDG 11 became integrated part of MAB objectives.

In 2022 MAB has been awarded to implement a project titled ‘Municipalities Network Advocacy on Sanitation in South Asia ( MuNASS II)’.

MuNASS Project Goal

The goal of MuNASS Phase II is to develop and demonstrate innovation on safely managed sanitation to achieve SDG 6.2 and mainstream into regional agenda, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.

Project Outcomes:  MuNASS Phase II expected Primary Outcomes are

  1. Demonstrate innovation on SDG 6.2 measurement by mobilising cities in South Asia.
  2. Documentation of the Municipal-led investment for CWIS and FSM in South Asia is available.
  3. SDG 6.2 are mainstreamed into the regional agenda through advocacy, knowledge exchange and joint activities among municipalities in the Asia-Pacific region.

Achievements [Visit]

IEC materials

Research documents

National events on CWIS

International sharing

Media engagement

National Symposium

Regulations by National governments

  • IRF [Bangla and English]
  • NAP for Municipalities
  • Pro poor sanitation strategy

Model by law for municipalities

CWIS poster

Awareness building sticker

Shit Flow Diagram

Women Engagement in CWIS

Movement for female friendly public toilet

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