Government Policy

WB-PKSF to support 170000 households for hygienic sanitation

DHAKA, Jan 26, 2017 (BSS) - Over 170,000 low-income households in rural Bangladesh will have access to hygienic sanitation under the Output-Based Aid (OBA) Sanitation Microfinance Programme, according to a World Bank (WB) release issued today.

The WB, in partnership with the Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), is supporting this programme with a $3 million grant from the Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA), in line with the government's initiative to enable households to shift from basic to hygienic quality sanitation services.

"Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in almost ending the practice of open defecation in rural areas, which is now down to 1.0 percent, reducing health risk, especially for children under five and providing safety, dignity and security to women and adolescent girls," said Rajashree Paralkar, Acting Country Director, WB Bangladesh, in the statement.

The OBA grant supports access to hygienic sanitation by leveraging approximately $22 million in household loan finance from participating microfinance institutions (MFIs), for a total project cost of $25 million.

Participating MFIs include the Association for Social Advancement (ASA), as well as 20 additional partner organizations of PKSF. This combination of microfinance and output-based subsidies will make affordable loans available to low-income households for the purchase of quality hygienic latrines from local construction firms -- thus reducing the total purchase price for families unable to pay the entire cost up front.

"GPOBA is proud to partner with these Bangladesh microfinance institutions in supporting a results-based approach for healthier, safer, and affordable sanitation services to low-income rural households," said Catherine Commander O'Farrell, Head of GPOBA.

The project builds upon and will be closely coordinated with an ongoing World Bank sanitation marketing initiative to encourage private sector involvement in rural sanitation.

The sanitation marketing initiative, which began in 2009, has since been scaled up and supports demand creation and market promotion for hygienic sanitation, including handwashing promotion and behavior change activities.

Furthermore, it supports latrine product development, taking into account female preferences and gender-related issues which may affect access, builds the capacity of local sanitation construction firms, and engages community leaders and local government for project advocacy.

Building on previous experience and in collaboration with its partners, the OBA Sanitation Microfinance Programme aims to make clean, safe sanitation affordable and accessible to poor households, and ultimately scale up the adoption of sanitation microfinance in Bangladesh.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)