Situation analysis of the urban sanitation sector in Bangladesh

Themes: Faecal sludge management Research Sanitation Urban Sanitation Research Initiative
Countries: Bangladesh

This report, an output of WSUP’s Urban Sanitation Research Initiative, explores the background to the urban sanitation sector in Bangladesh.

Summary of findings:

  • Bangladesh is a lower middle-income country with high ambitions, but poor infrastructure in urban areas is holding back economic growth.
  • Onsite sanitation is the norm; transport and treatment services for sewage and faecal sludge are under-developed.
  • The legal framework for sanitation is fragmented, but recent progress has been made in developing a draft regulatory framework for faecal sludge management (FSM).
  • There is significant overlap in institutional responsibilities, contributing to the limited supply of FSM services.
  • Funding has focused on rural sanitation, and sewerage services to urban areas.
  • Rapid urbanisation, low decentralisation, lack of demand for and supply of FSM services and lack of investment are all major barriers to pro-poor urban sanitation.
  • Despite challenges, the sector has an opportunity to bring about change.