Quick Read
9 December 2015

5 ways to help combat the consequences of climate change in Bangladesh

Climate change has a direct effect on water: droughts, floods and rising sea levels will complicate the realisation of access to sustainable WASH services for all by 2030 (Sustainable Development Goal 6). Availability of sustainable and good quality WASH services can help communities cope with the consequences of climate change and therefore are more urgent than ever.

Climate change is affecting our work on water, sanitation and hygiene

In Bangladesh Simavi and our partners have integrated several approaches in our projects to help combat the consequences of climate change:

  1. Low cost disaster resilient WASH technologies such as so called step-latrines -elevated latrines- prevent faeces from being swept away when there is a flooding, thereby contaminating the surface water. First the flooding line is defined. Then the latrine and the pit where faeces are collected, are constructed on an appropriate higher level.
  2. Rain water harvesting. To collect water during the rainy season, tanks are constructed to save the water for the dry season. A filter is put between the reservoir and the pump to ensure safe water
  3. Awareness about solid waste management and keeping the environment clean. People use to throw away garbage in the street. The garbage is then washed by the heavy rain to the drainage system and blocks it, which causes flooding.
  4. Open defecation especially is a health risk when there are floodings. Therefor faecal sludge management is part of our programme. The use of pit latrines and arrangements to empty them at appropriate times are necessary.
  5. Empowered communities know their rights and can ask local, regional and national governments for budget to combat the consequences of climate change. Advocacy work is also done to keep enough ponds available for drinking water. Most ponds are used for shrimp culture. As a consequences the water becomes salty and not suitable for drinking purposes.

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