Staff Correspondent: The expenditure on water-sanitation per household (family) is Tk 11,574, which is 4.3 percent of the household’s annual income. This information was announced at the publication ceremony of Bangladesh National Wash Accounts 2023 at Bangabandhu International Conference Center in the city on Sunday (October 29).
Minister of Planning MA Mannan, Country Director of Water Aid Hasin Jahan, Secretary of the Department of Statistics and Information Management Dr. Shahnaz Arefin and others were present.
Wash is a combination of water, sanitation and hygiene. The cost of keeping a person healthy is increasing day by day. According to WASH report prepared by Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics in 2020, a person spends Tk 3491 on water, sanitation and hygiene per year. And the average cost of a family is Tk 11,574. Which is 4.3 percent of the total income of that family. And 2.18 percent of GDP is spent on WASH annually.
According to the publication of National Wash Accounts, a person spends Tk 2093 on hygiene, Tk 500 on water and Tk 898 on sanitation. Which is too much. About 60 percent of the total WASH expenditure is spent on hygiene and 26 percent on sanitation. 14 percent of the total wash cost is spent on potable water.
According to the publication, on an average, each family spends Tk 1,502 on water, Tk 1,985 on sanitation and Tk 8,087 on hygiene. The average expenditure per family on wash is Tk 11,574 which is 4.3 percent of their annual family income. A breakdown of household WASH expenditure by income shows that poor and poorest income households in both urban and rural areas spend a large proportion of their income on WASH.
2.4 percent of the population of Bangladesh is deprived of access to safe drinking water. About 70 percent of the population uses tube wells to collect drinking water. About 10 percent of the population has access to tap or piped drinking water, most of whom live in cities. Most of the urban dwellers depend on water supplied through large networked systems. In 2020, the cost of WASH for those living in urban areas was Tk 2,200 crore. During the same period, the rural population spent Tk 4,970 crore on this sector, with 79 percent of the expenditure being used for pumping water by hand or motorized pumps.
Meanwhile, about 99 percent of Bangladesh’s population uses flush/pour flush or pit latrines. The rates of pit latrine users and flush/pour flush users are about the same, at 48 percent and 51 percent respectively. In 2020, approximately 26 percent of the total WASH expenditure or Tk 15,300 crore was spent on sanitation services, of which Tk 7,980 crore was spent in rural areas and Tk 5,750 crore in urban areas.
Expenditure related to hand washing and menstrual hygiene management accounts for 96 percent of total hygiene expenditure. In 2020, spending on cleaning services was Tk 14,200 crore, followed by Tk 13,400 crore on personal hygiene, which was mainly spent on procurement of soap and detergents by households.
A review of WASH expenditure at the departmental level shows that in 2020, the highest expenditure in the WASH sector was in Dhaka Division (20 thousand 400 crores), followed by Chittagong (Tk 13,900 crores). Rajshahi division spends 12 percent of the total WASH expenditure. Khulna, Mymensingh and Rangpur have almost the same level of expenditure ranging from 7.4 per cent to 8 per cent of the total WASH expenditure. The lowest share of WASH expenditure is observed in Sylhet and Barisal divisions, at 4.6 percent and 3.1 percent respectively.
In 2020, the per capita WASH expenditure for Bangladesh was Tk 3,491, where the population of Dhaka spent the most at Tk 4,295 followed by Chittagong at Tk 3,991.
It is reported that about 16 percent of total WASH spending in 2020 was funded by central and regional or local government funds. Out of the total government outlay of Tk 9,650 crore, the central government contributed Tk 8,300 crore and the local government contributed Tk 1,350 crore. In 2020, direct expenditure by bilateral agencies on WASH-related projects was Tk 130 crore.
Note that the National WASH Accounts is a recognized method used to track public and private expenditure on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) at the national level. Its aim is to provide a comprehensive picture of investments and costs in WASH services and to use this information in making evidence-based decisions to improve these services. The information collected through this can help the government and other stakeholders to identify investment gaps, prioritize spending and ensure effective and efficient allocation of resources to ensure sustainable WASH services.
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