Longlisted for a Business in the Community Responsible Business Award
Why small private operators might be better placed to provide clean water to the very poor
Action and Impact
Around a billion people live in temporary, basic accomodation and this number is set to double by 2030. People living there are in desperate need of access to basic services, such as washing facilities, running water and toilets.
In Bangladesh, the situation is exacerbated because of the the fast growing population and the country's vulnerability to climate change, forcing people to gather in the very poor parts of Dhaka. The number of people living without access to basic water, sanitation and hygiene services is increasing and a lack of adequate facilities leads to health issues, violence, exclusion and school absenteeism.
Shobar Jono Pani (SJP) has come up with a sustainable solution for both residents and public operators. The social business acts as a local water operator and provides household metered water connections. Once customers are identified, they can start to pay for services including solid waste, drainage and sanitation. SJP is creating jobs and represents a mediator between inhabitants and public authorities.
In parallel, their partner non-profit Water&Life helps to raise awareness of hygiene issues and training for local communities.
“Formalising and capacitating small-scale service providers such as SJP is a possible stepping stone in obtaining universal service provision through a sustainable model,” says Philippe de Roux, co-director of Eau et Vie, the French NGO which behind the initiative.