Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated and poorest countries in the world, and therefore a priority country for development cooperation. Of the total population of about 38.1 million (8.6 million in urban areas), more than 40% of the population lives in extreme poverty, and only about half have access to basic sanitation.
Bangladesh is a hub of sanitation experimentation and has been internationally recognised as the place for the success of Community-Led Total Sanitation. As a low-lying deltaic coastal country, it is extremely vulnerable to severe weather events such as tropical cyclones in the Bay of Bengal and storm/tidal surges, resulting in extensive flooding, backup of sewage, wind damage and loss of human lives. The existing urban infrastructure in municipalities (Pourashavas) such as water supply systems, sanitation facilities, roads, bridges and boat docking stations is generally inadequate, and suffers a great deal of damage during such events.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works together with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to improve access to sanitation in coastal towns. BORDA and its Bangalore-based partner organisation CDD Society provide support with City Sanitation Plans through training, knowledge transfer, and planning measures.
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