A lack of safe water and sanitation in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is facing a water crisis. Water exists, but climate change and groundwater quality are making it difficult for people to access safe supplies.

Credit: WaterAid/GMB Akash/Panos

Sabina, age 10, coming back from a hanging toilet in Mollar Slum, Mirpur, Dhaka.

In the major cities of Bangladesh, poor and commuter communities are also deprived of access to public toilets.

This lack of safe, clean toilets leaves people with no choice but to go in the open. Women and children are put at particular risk and are exposed to harassment and indignity.

People’s health and the local environment are severely impacted without safe water and appropriate toilets, leaving people trapped in a cycle of poverty.


When H&M customers purchased gift cards during H&M’s Holiday Campaign 2013, they were contributing to transforming lives for millions of people in Bangladesh. The number of purchased gift cards secured a donation from the H&M Conscious Foundation that made Project SUNRISE possible.

In this three year project, WaterAid is building long-lasting supply of safe water, sanitation and improved hygiene. The project will promote a new era in public-private partnership with a new model for renovation, management and supervision of public toilets in Dhaka.


Project SUNRISE in numbers

The funding will ensure that:

  • 63,599 people across Bangladesh will get clean water.
  • 145,060 people will be able to reach safe toilets close to their homes.
  • 130,156 people will benefit from hygiene promotion activities.

In addition, the H&M Conscious Foundation’s targeted funding will reach approximately 4 million people who live and work in Dhaka, providing them with safe, sustainable and dignified public sanitation services.

The project aims specifically to:

  • Provide transformative sanitation services for poor and commuter populations.
  • Build public awareness of hygienic behaviour.
  • Build public awareness of rights to water and sanitation.
  • Advocate greater accountability from authorities to provide public water and sanitation services.  

Our global partners

Investing in children´s early education and development - for the best start in life!

Investing in clean water and sanitation in schools – to offer children a better future!

Investing in women’s economic empowerment – a catalyst for positive change!

Our Global Program

Read about our three Global Programs within:



Clean Water

Strengthening Women

Stories of change

Read how our work is contributing to change for people and communities.

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