The World Bank has approved $170 million to improve sanitation services in Dhaka city, benefiting around 1.5 million people.
The Dhaka Sanitation Improvement Project will help improve Dhaka’s livability with safely managed sanitation services, particularly in its southern part of the city.The project will treat sewage and septage, which will help reduce inland flooding and water pollution. It will also provide 50,000 new household sewer connections, the World Bank said in a statement on Saturday.
Further, to improve the quality of living in slum and low-income housing areas, the project will upgrade toilets and install communal septic tanks.
“About 3.5 million people living in Dhaka’s low-income communities, especially women suffer most from poor sanitation and high levels of pollution,” said World Bank Country Director Mercy Tembon. “This project will help ensure safe sanitation, which is essential for reducing public health risks as well as extreme poverty.”
The project will help construct a new Sewage Treatment Plant at Pagla area with a capacity of treating about 150 million litres of domestic waste water per day.
“By reducing the volume of untreated wastewater and fecal sludge into drainage canals and water bodies, the project will decrease the risk of inland floods and thus lessen the risks of water contamination,” said Arif Ahamed, World Bank’s team leader for the project.
Dhaka’s 881 km sewer system is old and inadequate to serve the large population. Often untreated domestic sewage and industrial effluent are illegally discharged into rivers and canals causing pollution and flooding.
Due to damaged and clogged sewer collection and transmission network, the existing sewer treatment plant can treat — about one-fourth of its capacity — around 30-40 million litre per day, which is below discharge standard set by the Department of Environment.