Pro-poor market-based solutions for faecal sludge management

This project is completed

The bulk of human waste in some of the world's fastest developing cities is dumped untreated in local waterways, on marginal land or in open drains close to people’s houses – polluting the local environment and posing a huge health risk to communities. In Bangladesh, while 42% of the 30 million urban residents have ‘improved sanitation’ (latrines or septic tanks), the vast majority of waste still goes untreated. As a result, ground water reserves are increasingly contaminated by salinity, faecal matters, arsenic or industrial chemical waste, with statistics showing that over 25 million people in Bangladesh lack access to an ‘improved’ water source.

Without a working sewerage system, for many, the only option in Bangladesh’s dense cities is waste removal by hand, a task left to the nation’s poorest and most marginalised. These “sweepers” play a vital role in managing human waste, but their jobs are poorly paid, unregulated and harmful to their health. The problem is immediate and impossible to ignore, which is why an SNV initiative in Bangladesh is working on solutions to both cleaning up the nation’s cities and building sustainable livelihoods in the waste business.

With backing from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), the Pro-poor Market-based Solutions for Faecal Sludge Management in Urban Centres of Southern Bangladesh project is piloting new strategies for citywide safe sanitation in Khulna city, and two smaller towns - Kushtia and Jhenaidah.

The 4-year phase one of the project aims to improve the living environment of more than 1 million people. By developing safe sanitation, the project aims to reform human waste management, building government capacity to develop and implement waste management services and policy, and increase the productivity and protect the health and dignity of people working in this vital sector. The project focused on 4 components:


Component 0 - Results of pro-poor market-based solutions for faecal sludge management introduction

Component 1 - Consumer behaviour change and demand creation

Component 2 - Safe and affordable sanitation services

Component 3 - Governance, regulations and enforcement

Component 4 - Treatment, disposal and reuse

Key facts



250,000 additional people (approx. 57,000 households) will have access to improved sanitation facilities.


1 million people (approx. 240,000 households) will have an improved living environment and access to FSM services.


Sector stakeholders, including local authorities from at least two cities, will replicate key elements of the FSM approach.

Our experts

Rajeev Munankami

Multi-country Programme Manager, WASH SDG

Shahidul Islam

Advisor - WASH

Md. Tanvir Ahamed Chowdhury

Sanitation Business Advisor

Donors & Partners