Improving Access to WASH for Ready-Made Garments (RMG) Workers in Bangladesh- SAJIDA Foundation &WaterAid Bangladesh Collaboration.

To ensure safe water and improved sanitation and hygiene garments workers and their families, SAJIDA has been implementing this three-year project with the support of LEVI’s and WaterAid Bangladesh since July 2016. The project currently works with 12,000 garments worker in Ashulia, Savar and contributes to the Government’s national plan for safe drinking water and sanitation as outlined in Bangladesh’s 7th Five Year Plan (2016- 2020). Till date, SAJIDA has provided water facilities to 6,915 RMG workers and their family members, sanitation facilities to 6,689 and provided hygiene awareness sessions to 46,091 community people. The major activities under this project include: 

  • Improving access to safe water while raising awareness regarding water safety and quality and integrated water resource management; 
  • Improving access to sanitation; 
  • Promoting rainwater harvesting to address water scarcity and to reduce reliance on groundwater; 
  • Integrating WASH activities with health, nutrition and financial services focusing on women and children; 
  • Influencing local authorities to ensure WASH compliance in factories. 

The Road Ahead 

With the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) as a supporting member of this project, we aspire to establish WASH practices as part of compliance in garments factories. Also, since most garments workers are women, the addition of water, hygiene, improved menstrual hygiene practices and inclusive toilets can be part of factory compliance processes as well. Going forward, the project aims to promote surface water usage instead of groundwater in factories, and strengthen hygiene information mechanisms. Additionally, solid waste management, occupational health and safety (OHS) practices are areas that this project aims to work with.