The lack of proper hygiene and functioning sanitation systems in the communities living in the coastal belt of Bangladesh is a severe problem that has only been exacerbated with the influx of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. There is one latrine available for 327 refugees in the coastal region. The absence of sanitation facilities in this area has resulted in a major humanitarian crisis - massive setbacks in social development, as well as outbreaks of diarrhea, cholera, typhoid and polio among the inhabitants of the area, of whom children are most badly impacted.
Footsteps Foundation, a Dhaka based social enterprise renowned for its social venture 'Project Trishna', is currently endeavouring to solve the coastal sanitation crisis with a new initiative - The Latrine Project.
By building sustainable, climate-resistant sanitation systems in the areas worst affected, the Latrine Project aims to ensure community-wide disease confinement, better health and hygiene, and heightened access to sanitation for a million people. These systems are designed to withstand recurring natural disasters such as cyclones and flooding and after each facility is implemented, training programmes are held to raise awareness among locals and ensure that they contribute to the upkeep of the systems. The project is being implemented with the aid of Bangladesh Society for Enforcement of Human Rights (BSEHR) and Swiss NGO Global Changemakers.
The Latrine Project has already successfully implemented four sanitation systems in Ledhapara, which are directly impacting 200 families. The goal of the project is to establish over 500 regularly-maintained latrine facilities for the climate vulnerable communities and Rohingya refugee population residing along the coastal belt of Bangladesh.
Access to proper sanitation and hygiene are the basic rights of every human being, and one of the cornerstones of public health and community development. It is essential to the advancement of Bangladesh that every one of its residents receives unabated access to these rights.
The Latrine Project provides a public Corporate Social Responsibility platform via which any interested firm or donor may donate to contribute to its cause. Any donation goes forward to the end-goal of providing over 120,000 of the poorest, most vulnerable individuals in coastal regions, refugees and Bangladeshis alike, with 500+ sanitation systems. You can donate any amount today to help thousands of people gain a minimum standard of living.
The writer is currently studying A levels at Sunbeams School and can be reached at [email protected]