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BRAC and the Dutch Water Sector

Published on: 25/03/2016

Ms. Nameerah Khan, Coordinator of Knowledge Management of the BRAC Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programme met with Dutch organisations active in Bangladesh. 

This meeting held in The Hague on 17 March 2016, was to explore further cooperation between the Netherlands and Bangladesh in the field of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). The meeting was part of a 10- day programme of Ms. Khan in the Netherlands. 

BRAC is one of the largest NGOs globally and started in Bangladesh in 1972 to empower the poor. BRAC's work now reaches an estimated 138 million people - a global movement bringing change to 12 low-income countries in Asia and Africa. IRC has worked closely with BRAC in Bangladesh on implementing a successfull water and sanitation programme. IRC was one of the hosts of the meeting held on Thursday 17 March.

Around the table at the meeting in The Hague were a number of key Dutch players in the WASH sector of Bangladesh. After short introductions, Nameerah Khan presented impressive results of nine years of scale and innovation of the BRAC WASH programme in Bangladesh (see her presentation as a download below). She concluded her presentation by stating that BRAC is looking for strategic partners to tackle their main future challenges (e.g. urban areas, faecal sludge management, sustainable and low cost solutions and sustainable business models).

BRAC is interested to learn from the Dutch water sector and forge partnerships. The representatives of the sector responded enthusiastically on the cooperation opportunity with BRAC for mutual learning and benefit. WASTE expressed an interest to share their experiences on faecal sludge management and see if there are opportunities for micro-insurance; linking health and sanitation to lower insurance premium. The Proportion Foundation suggested to incorporate business development not separately in each project, but to have business development as a cross-over within BRAC.

BRAC's WASH Programme

The final report of BRAC's water, sanitation and hygiene programme, Nine Years of Scale and Innovation in Bangladesh, was recently published. From 2006 to 2015 the BRAC WASH programme has helped over 39 million people (including poor and ultra-poor) gain access to hygienic latrines and 2.3 million people access to safe water across 250 sub-districts of Bangladesh.

More than 65,000 gender-balanced Village WASH committees with representation from every income group have been set up. These are some of the impressive results mentioned in the final report on the nine-year programme in Bangladesh showing that community mobilisation, gender inclusion and equity are essential ingredients for a successful programme. Read more about the BRAC WASH Approach on the IRC website.