Economic impacts of inadequate sanitation in Bangladesh

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

This study estimates the nonmonetary, financial, and economic costs of poor sanitation in the areas of health, drinking water, and domestic water, as well as user preference and welfare. Financial costs refer to the direct financial expense paid in monetary terms by someone, such as changes in household and government spending and real income losses for households. Nonmonetary costs consist of both longer-term financial impacts (such as less educated children, fewer children, and loss of working people due to premature death or relevant morbidity), and nonfinancial implications, such as the value of loss of life, time-use of adults and children, and intangible impacts. Bangladesh has made inadequate progress toward the sanitation-related millennium development goal (MDG) target. The country's financial commitment and political priority for sanitation also has shown inadequate progress (Water-Aid, 2008). Therefore, to mitigate the adverse effects of poor sanitation and hygiene practices, intervention is necessary. The aim of this study is to provide concrete evidence of the impact poor sanitation has on the population and the environment and, consequently, on the economy. This study provides estimates of the current and long-term effects of poor sanitation, which cover not only the negative impacts of poor sanitation but also the potential gains that different sanitation interventions could achieve. Policy makers and water and sanitation advocacy organizations are the target audience of this study.

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