Establishing Community-Based Small Water Treatment Plants in the Coastal Area of Bangladesh

The project aims to create sustainable options for providing the communities of inaccessible areas with safe drinking water at a lower cost.

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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name


Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Established (the solution has passed the previous stages and demonstrated success)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $50k - $100k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 50,000 - 100,000

Organization type

  • Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector

Secondary Focus Area

  • Rural development

Headquarters location: Country

  • Bangladesh

Headquarters location: City

K-14/2A, North Baridhara (Kalachandpur), Dhaka -1212

Location(s) of impact

Bangladesh: Shatkhira, Khulna


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Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

60% families of Shatkhira have limited access to fresh drinking water. 80% of them rely on tube-wells which are affected by salinity and arsenic. Local community faces an acute shortage of safe drinking water due to salinity intrusion. The project addresses that scarcity of safe drinking water leads to rise inappropriate hygiene practices, spread diseases, hamper children’s education, lets poor people collect water from distant places, and endangers health status of lactating mothers and children.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

Proposed solution is to replicate the project in 8 more remotest coastal areas to ensure access to safe drinking water. The water treatment plants have the potential to reach the people who are in need of safe water. As community based model, the plants aim to involve people to take responsibility of running the plants gradually. Water is being delivered at an affordable price to the villagers so that the plants can be run by Friendship and the micro entrepreneurs of the community in long run without much support from outside. In addition, at this point, since the need for fresh drinking water is evident, successful running is a matter of good support and community awareness. The treatment plant takes water through 6 steps to rid it from odour, bacteria, excess minerals and micro-organisms. The structure of these plants are made in a way that it is disaster resilient (strong structure) and is able to provide people with safe drinking water even in disaster aftermath (storage capacity)

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

The existing water treatment plants have potential to reach about 80,000 people and the proposed ones will reach about 100,000 people who are in need of safe drinking water. Committees have been formed with the existing plants as part of decision-making platforms contributing to social sustainability. Local people are enjoying better health since having this water. Families using the water from plant have reported reduced cases of cholera, diarrhoea, typhoid, and dysentery etc. Children’s education is not hampered. The benefits of having safe drinking water is disseminated even in local institutions by local leaders, people and teachers. The beneficiaries pay BDT 0.6 (1 USD = BDT 80) for a litre of water and collected revenues are spent to meet the associated running costs of the plants. For a household, water requirement per day is 30 litres, it will cost the household BDT 540 per month. The water treatment plants are environmental friendly, and has no negative impacts on environment

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

Set-up cost of one plant is about 82,414 Euro, and yearly running cost is around 9,000 Euro. With the financial support of Friendship Luxembourg, the existing plants were constructed. The maintenance cost, operation cost, and others are met up to 27% right now by the sale of water and the rest is met by donor funding. Obtaining BSTI (Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution) license for water marketing, introducing vans for mass distribution of water and campaigning to create awareness can ensure long-term sustainability.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

Construction of water treatment plants with disaster-resilient structural design makes the initiative innovative, as there is hardly any plant available in these hard to reach areas.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

Inhabitants of coastal districts, like Zillur and his family, suffer from water borne diseases due to limited access to safe drinking water. Friendship’s water treatment plants remove the sorrows and Zillur is now habituated to buy fresh water from plants. His wife, a teacher of primary school, teaches the students to have safe drinking water. There is no alternative to ‘treated’ water for these areas as all possible sources of drinking water are either contaminated or salinity intruded. An increase of salinity intrusion on the surface and in ground water over the past few years worsens the health risk of local communities, and Friendship has been reaching to these communities with this initiative to ensure healthy life. The land for constructing water treatment plants was donated by the local communities, and they also helped as laborers in constructing these plants.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

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1 comment

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Photo of Mouhamadou Moustapha Seck

Good job. Congratulations for the initiative.