Bangladesh: First South Asian Nation To Become Open-Defecation Free – Analysis | Source: Eurasia Review, May 9 2016 |
Bangladesh, once described as “bottomless basket”, has achieved remarkable success in many aspects of social sector, including sanitation. The strong political will of the government and an inclusive approach have brought fundamental change in the area of sanitation of the South Asian nation. In 2015, open-defecation in the country reduced to just 1%. Besides, improved sanitation coverage stood at 61%, an increase of 28% since 2003.
A nationwide survey carried out in 2003 to assess the sanitation facilities in Bangladesh revealed an alarmingly poor condition. The survey found that only 33% of the households had access to hygienic latrines, while 42% people did not use any type of latrine, defecated in the open. The prevalence of abysmal poverty among rural people was identified as the most important reason for not having latrine. The review disclosed that almost 20% of the households had been very poor.
In order to improve the sanitation facilities throughout the country, the Bangladesh government undertook a series of measures activating its agencies from the national to the grassroots level after 2003. The primary responsibility of the sanitation sector is entrusted with the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives.
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