Challenges and Opportunities for WASH related urban health of drivers' community of Bangladesh

Present government urban health policy


  • Fazle Siddique Md. Yahya Deputy Secretary,ministry of Defence


The sound health of urban people largely depends on the quality of water, sanitation and
level of good hygiene practices. One-third of the population of Bangladesh is living in
urban areas and this percentage is estimated to increase to around 50% by 2030. Poor
WASH practice is the leading cause of mortality and Disability-Adjusted Life-Years
(DALYs) globally [1]. Studies suggested that about 3.3 billion people had no access to
basic sanitation, around 844 million people lacked basic drinking water services [2].
Evidence showed that the availability of drinking water of rural peoples has been increased
gradually since 1990, whereas there was a very limited chance of improvement of urban
drinking water supply in urban areas [3]. Currently 28% people of Bangladesh are living
in urban areas and the megacity Dhaka accounts for around 40% of the urban population
[4]. Numerous systematic issues like high population density, urban poverty,
unemployment, and lack of effective management of the urban environment are associated
with adverse outcomes of urban health in Bangladesh [5]. In Bangladesh urban population
growth rate is higher compared to the national growth rate. The issue of disposal of solid
wastes, and safely managing of water supplies and sanitation are well addressed by
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Bangladesh has made remarkable achievements
in the reduction of the practice of open defecation, although far behind in improving
sanitation and hygiene in urban areas. Poor WASH facilities and complex urban
environment-related factors like unhealthy hygiene practices by vehicle drivers’
communities are big concern. In this study, we explored present government urban health
policy and WASH-related practices by the vehicle drivers of Dhaka city.