Every Drop Matters in Bangladesh focused on improving access to water and sanitation.

People constructing rainwater harvesting system in Bauniabad community, Bangladesh
Constructing rainwater harvesting system in Bauniabad community, Bangladesh

End-of-project report

Taking stock of its achievements, EDM has produced this report highlighting the achievements of the project

Every Drop Matters – synthesis report

WASH in schools

Without running water, working toilets and facilities for hand-washing, sending childrento school can be truly dangerous. Surveys in Bangladeshi cities, including Dhaka, found that approximately 70 percent of schools do not have safe water or sanitation and only 15 percent of schools have separate facilities for girls. Teasing, fear, and general discomfort prevents many girls from going to school and receiving education.

This project transformed schools by installing running water, new wells, toilets and waste disposal units and establishing WASH communities to maintain facilities and provide education on proper hygiene. At the Akkas Ali Railway Colony Academy in Chandpur, for example, the school attendance rate increased from 70% to 98% and students enjoy a healthier, happier and more productive learning environment.

At the time of the project’s completion in 2013, project partners Society for Peoples’ Action in Change and Equity (SPACE) and Concern Universal (CU) had improved WASH facilities in 20 schools in Chandpur Municipality, but nearly 50 more in the area remained unsanitary and unsafe, especially for girls. The potential for scaling this type of project through this municipality – and the country – is clear and imperative.


  • Raised awareness of the need for basic water and sanitation facilities in schools among school management committees (SMCs), teachers and students.
  • Set up school WASH committees and brigades, and trained members of SMCs and school teachers.
  • Installed water wells, running water, two new toilets, hand washing facilities, urinals and waste disposal units, and to repair two toilets. Separate toilets were built for the girls to ensure their privacy.

Project details

Original title: School-led WASH initiatives for the urban slums in Tangail and Chandpur

Implementation period: 2011-2013

Implementing agency: Concern Universal Bangladesh

Location: Chandpur and Tangali, Bangladesh

Budget: 259,660 USD (EDM: 120,000 / Co-financing: 139,660 )

Smarter sewage

Dhaka faces enormous water challenges: the water table is sinking; many drinking water sources are polluted; slums are not connected to legal piped water networks and a majority of households do not have sufficient water to meet their needs. In the Bauniabad community, constructed rainwater harvesting systems were built and recovered in schools, and five decentralized waste water treatment systems installed in the community. This reduced pollution reaching public water bodies, enabled the generation of locally produced bio-energy. It also provided an additional 75,000 m3 of water per year and lowered the transmission of water-borne diseases by collecting and keep stored rainwater clean. By building capacity in school management committees to operate the systems and the creation of maintenance funds, the project expects a sustained and growing contribution to improved water, sanitation and hygiene in Bauniabad community in Dhaka.


  • Installed decentralized wastewater treatment and rain water harvesting systems
  • Improved access to water and sanitation for 10,200 residents and 4,200 students
  • Reduced polluted waste water reaching water bodies and increased biogas generation
  • Capacitated school management committees to operate and maintain the systems
  • Created maintenance funds to ensure that future costs will be covered
  • Educated over 5,000 people
  • Processes more than 75,000 m3 of water per year

Project details

Title: Combining rain water harvesting and waste water reuse for water supply in urban slums of Dhaka
Implementation period: 2012-2013
Implementing agency: Dushtha Shasthya Kendra
Location: Bauniabad Slum, Dhaka
Budget: 215,084 USD (EDM: 119,946 /Co-financing: 95,138)

WASH in shelters

Chittagong city, like many densely populated coastal urban areas in Bangladesh, is frequently hit by cyclones and devastating flooding that follow them. While the city has more than 2 000 cyclone shelters to provide a place for immediate protection from storms, a majority of them have very poor water and sanitation facilities. This results in the spread of disease among those seeking refuge after the storm. These shelters also double as local schools for many communities, where the lack of safe water and sanitation facilities poses an everyday threat to child health.

The EDM project worked to rehabilitate existing, and build new, water and sanitation facilities within 12 cyclone shelters. As a result, nearly 10 000 school children and 24 000 community members have received improved access to safe water and sanitation. Five of these centers were established to act as demonstration centers, to provide a model and guidance on how to replicate similar renovations across the city and country.

Through the creation and capacitation of school management committees at each project site, these facilities should be maintained to ensure a sustained impact and inspire action for other communities.


  • Installed 23 new, and repaired 49 dilapidated latrines, deep tube wells and hand washing facilities in twelve schools.
  • All students at the schools now have access to clean water, and have improved sanitation and hygiene.
  • Improved access to safe water and sanitation to an estimate 9,700 students and 24,000 community people.
  • Upgraded rain water harvesting systems in six schools – which now collect 84 m3 of water per year.
  • 12 School management committees (SMC) were established and trained to manage the systems over 6 workshops.
  • Through the SMC, 12 independently developed maintenance funds were created to maintain WASH facilities.
  • Engaged 4,458 students and 3,683 community members were involved in hygiene
    education activities.

Project details

Original title Climate change adaptation by ensuring water and sanitation facilities in cyclone shelter
Implementation period 2013-2014
Implementing agency Young Power in Social Action
Location Chittagong City
Budget 11,172 USD (EDM: 93,934 / Co-financing: 7,238)

School-led WASH

In Sirajgonj municipality, home to more than 300,000 people, nine out of ten residents do not have access to safe sanitation. While many schools have toilets facilities, nearly half are not functional and most lack proper handwashing facilities.

Many schools also have functional water points but do not supply enough drinking water for the thousands of students using them. This poses serious threats to children’s health and fundamental challenges to establishing a healthy educational environment.

The EDM project worked to improve water and sanitation facilities in 50 schools within the Sirajgong municipality and improve awareness on healthy hygiene among school students and local communities.

In collaboration with school management committees, tube wells, water access points and rainwater harvesting systems were designed and constructed at schools.

Local construction workers were employed and trained to build the systems so that they could build similar units elsewhere. Training sessions and awareness raising activities were held on hand washing and safe toilet use both in the schools and the surrounding communities.


  • Improved access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene at 50 schools and 22,000 school students in the Sirajgong municipality
  • Designed and constructed tube wells, water access points and rainwater harvesting systems
  • Employed and trained 50 construction workers to build water and sanitation systems required, to ensure local capacity for replication
  • Constructed rainwater harvesting and groundwater recharge systems at 15 schools
  • Provided training sessions for students and 100 teachers on hand washing and safe toilet use
  • Education and awareness on menstrual hygiene provided for girls and women in surrounding communities

Project details

Title: School led WASH for urban poor in Sirajgong Municipality
Implementation period 2014-2015
Implementing agency Concern Universal Bangladesh
Location Sirajgong municipality
Budget 119,603 USD (EDM: 99,603 / Co-financing: 20,000)

Partners and contributors

  • Concern Universal
  • Society for Peoples’ Action in Change and Equity
  • Dushtha Shasthya Kendra
  • Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology
  • Young Power in Social Action
  • UNDP Bangladesh
  • Urban Partnership for Poverty Reduction