287.The Government has a set of interventions for reducing the impact of arsenic in water. Large-scale screening in tube wells is the first thing that identifies tube wells with high level of contamination and seals those. Interventions include water treatment plants, piped water system, surface water treatment plant, installation of deep tube wells, pond sand filters and rain water harvesting systems. By and large, deep tube-wells are free from arsenic contamination. Health workers were trained on identification and management of Arsenicosis patients. A recent survey in 15 Upazilas has shown that awareness regarding arsenic contamination and arsenocosis has risen from 31 percent in 2000, to 72 percent in 2003. The Bangladesh Arsenic Mitigation Water Supply Project (BAMWSP) has been established for arsenic mitigation.
288.The Government has conducted a Baseline Survey in 2003 where it was found that only 33 percent households were using sanitary latrines. Within 3 years. i.e. at the end of December 2005, as Shown in Table 6.5 below, the country has been able to achieve around 67 percent sanitation coverage. The Table also shows that maximum increase was in rural areas (37 percent), followed by Pouroshava (27 percent) during the period. As of June 2005, 15 Pouroshavas, 20 Upazilas and 444 Union Parishads have achieved 100 percent sanitation coverage (Source: Sanitation Secretariat). Through cooperation with NGOs and development partners access to sanitary latrines and safe water in slums has also increased in the recent years.
Sanitation coverage (household in %)
Baseline in 2003
Source: Sanitation Secretariat, 2005.
289.The main reasons behind the success may be attributed to a set of initiatives such as massive camping, decentralization of government institutions, involvement of local bodies along with increase of financial allocations, especially for hardcore poor, incentives and award for better performances, and increasing public-private-NGO partnership. The South Asia Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN), held in Dhaka in October 2003, resulted in Dhaka Declaration of the subsequent commitment of the State Party to achieve 100 percent sanitation coverage by 2010 (against universal coverage outlined in MDG in 2015). Bangladesh also participated in second SACOSAN held in Islamabad, Pakistan during 20-21 September 2006.
290.In 2004, over 5 million people were mobilized for promoting sanitation and hygiene through variety of communication activities including awareness building, training, community participation such as Water and Sanitation (WATSAN) committees in villages, Unions and Upazilas. Some 40,000 students’ brigade have been trained in sanitation and hygiene to carry promotion activities in their own and their neighbours’ homes. Based on community action plans, 4,000 community water facilities and 55,000 water sealed and low-cost latrines have been constructed and some 150 private latrine production centres established.