Policy and Strategy

Rural Water Supply
  • Communities shall be the focus for all water supply activities; all other stakeholders including the private sector and NGOs shall provide coordinated inputs into the development of the sector with DPHE as the lead agency.
  • Local government bodies in village, union and thana level shall have a direct role in planning, implementation and maintenance of rural water supply and the activities of public and private sector agencies will be coordinated accordingly.
  • As water is increasingly considered to be an economic good as well as a social good, water supply services shall be provided based on user demand and cost-sharing. In the near future concerned communities shall share at least the following portions of costs: (a) 50% for hand tubewells in shallow water table areas, (b) 25% of hand tubewells in low water table areas, (c) 20% for deep hand tubewells and other technologies for different areas.
  • User communities shall be responsible for operation and maintenance of water supply facilities and shall bear its total costs.
  • Women shall be encouraged and supported to actively participate in decision making during planning, operation and maintenance.
  • The rural water supply program shall support and promote a range of technology options.
National Policy for Safe Water Supply and Sanitation 1998
Urban Water Supply
  • In order to make the water supply system sustainable water would be supplied at cost. However, educational and religious institutions will be provided with water as per existing government rules.
  • In the future water tariff shall be determined on the basis of the cost of water production, operation and maintenance, administration and depreciation.
  • Water supply and Sewerage Authorities (WASAs) shall be responsible for sustainable water supply in the metropolitan areas where WASAs exist while in other urban areas the Pourashabhas with the help of DPHE shall be responsible for the service.
  • WASAs and Pourashabhas shall improve their operational efficiency including financial management.
  • Private sector participation will be promoted.
  • Monitoring of water quality for the purpose of ensuring an acceptable standard will be the responsibility of DPHE, DOE, BSTI, Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and CBOs and they will send their reports to the water quality control committee in the Local Government Division.
  • WASAs and relevant agencies shall support and promote any collective initiative in slums and squatters in accessing water supply services on payment.
  • WASAs, DPHE, BUET and AEC shall conduct research and development activities for the development of appropriate technologies and other developments with special emphasis on difficult and under-served areas. They shall share the results of research and development and provide technical support to the private sector.
  • Efforts shall be made to upgrade the capacity of the Pourashabhas and WASAs for planning, designing, implementation, management and human resource development and the DPHE shall have appropriate institutional linkage for this purpose.
  • NGOs will play appropriate role in undertaking motivational activities.
1.0 Preamble 1.1 In Bangladesh surface water is abundantly available during monsoon but it is scarce during the dry season. Ninety seven percent of the population relies on ground water for drinking purpose. Ground water used for drinking in many areas of Bangladesh has been reported to have contamination by arsenic above the Bangladesh National Standard of 50 parts per billion (ppb). The percentage of contaminated tubewells in villages varies from more than ninety percent to less than five percent. Geographically, the tube wells in the delta and the flood plains regions, which comprise 72% of the land area, are more or less affected by arsenic contamination.

1.2 Arsenic contaminated aquifers have no regular pattern, varies both horizontally and vertically within short distances.

1.3 Population exposed to arsenic in Bangladesh runs into millions, thousands of people are suffering from arsenicosis and many among them have developed cancer and other complications.

1.4 Arsenic contamination is geological and there is no known control at source and also there is no proven treatment for arsenicosis. Hence the primary option is alternate supply of arsenic safe drinking water. Therefore, it is simultaneously a water supply and a health issue.

1.5 Water supply brings with it the issue of appropriate and affordable technology options to the community. The shallow tube wells, cornerstone of the water supply miracle in Bangladesh, can no longer provide safe water for drinking and cooking in arsenic affected areas.

1.6 Symptoms of arsenic poisoning bring in the social dimensions. People with arsenic induced symptoms face social sanctions with apparent but no real justification.

1.7 Arsenic in ground water used for irrigation may also have affect on agriculture and food chain.

1.8 The variety of ways arsenic affects life and people have attracted the attention of a diverse group of stakeholders. Different ministries and government agencies, academics, NGOs and bilateral/multi-national development partner agencies are pursuing separate programmes without any co-ordination. This is resulting in duplication of activities and conflicting strategies that inhibit synergy and optimal use of scarce resources.

1.9 A policy guideline for arsenic mitigation programmes for arsenic affected areas to guide and co-ordinate all activities has therefore, become imperative.

National Policy for Arsenic Mitigation 2004
2.0 Objectives 2.1 The policy provides a guideline for mitigating the affect of arsenic on people and environment in a holistic and sustainable way.

2.2 This will also supplement the National Water Policy 1998, National Policy for Safe Water Supply and Sanitation 1998 in fulfilling the national goals of poverty alleviation, public health and food security.

3.0 Policy Statements Access to safe water for drinking and cooking shall be ensured through implementation of alternative water supply options in all arsenic affected areas. All arsenicosis cases shall be diagnosed and brought under an effective management system. Impact of arsenic on agricultural environment shall be assessed and addressed.
Rural Sanitation
  • Local government and communities shall be the focus of all activities relating to sanitation.
  • The users shall be responsible for operation and maintenance of sanitation facilities and will bear its total cost.
  • Measures will be taken so that users can bear increased cost of sanitation services. However, in case of hard core poor communities, educational institutions, mosques and other places of worship, the costs may be subsidized partially or fully. In public toilets separate provision shall be made for women users.
  • Behavioral development and changes in user communities shall be brought about through social mobilization and hygiene education in coordination with the Ministries of Health, Education, Social Welfare, Information, Women & Children Affairs, and DPHE, NGOs, CBOs, local government bodies and other related agencies.
  • Women shall be encouraged and supported to actively participate in decision making during planning, implementation, operation and maintenance.
  • The rural sanitation programme shall support and promote a range of technology options for water and environmental sanitation.
  • Within a specified period a legislation will be enacted making use of sanitary latrine compulsory.
National Sanitation Strategy
Urban Sanitation
  • The sanitation system shall have to be self-sufficient and self-sustaining. Sanitary latrine in every household will be promoted. Along with individual sanitation, public and community latrines will be set-up by City Corporation/Pourashabha and leased out to private sector for maintenance.
  • The City Corporation or Pourashabhas shall be responsible for solid waste collection, disposal and their management.
  • The role of women in the process of planning, decision making and management shall be promoted through their increased representation in management committees/boards (Pourashava/WASA).
  • Drainage system in the cities and municipalities will be integrated with the overall drainage system with the coordination of Ministry of Water Resources.
  • Private sector and NGO participation in sanitation will be encouraged.
  • Behavioral development and changes in user communities shall be brought about by social mobilization and hygiene education.
  • Measures will be taken to recycle, as much as possible, waste materials and to prevent contamination of groundwater by sewerage and drainage.
Developed By Systech Digital Ltd.