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Bangladesh gives more attention to WASH in upcoming census

Published on: 13/06/2022

WASH organisations successfully lobby to include more questions about WASH in the 2022 National Population and Housing Census.

Fieldworker inspects village latrine in Mujaffarabad, Chittagong, Bangladesh

Photo caption: Fieldworker inspects village latrine in Mujaffarabad, Chittagong, Bangladesh. Credit: IRC

Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) is conducting the Bangladesh National Population and Housing Census 2022. The data collection of the census will be done from 15-21 June, 2022. The last population and housing census was carried out in 2011. The census is usually conducted every 10 years. The present one was planned to be held in 2021 but delayed due to COVID-19. This is the first time the national population and housing census of Bangladesh is going to be conducted digitally.

WASH organisations collectively lobbied for BBS to put more focus on WASH issues in the census. Following the recommendations of WASH organisations, BBS has increased the number of WASH related questions in the households questionnaire of the census.

The household questionnaire in its present form has 14 questions. Four of them are related to WASH services. They are:

  • 8. What is the main source of drinking water in the household?
  • 9a.What type of toilet is being used by the household?
  • 9b. Is it for the household only or shared?
  • 9c. What type of handwashing facility is there in the household?

The questionnaire of the 2011 census had only 2 questions on WASH services. They were questions 8 and question 9a. The questions about shared latrines and handwashing facilities are new additions to this year's census.

Moreover, this is the first time BBS officially requested all the WASH organisations and CSOs to help with WASH related information in their respective areas during the data collection of the census. BBS made the request on 1 June 2022 in a letter (in Bengali) addressed to WaterAid, which acts as a representative of WASH organisations and networks in Bangladesh.

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