Housing poverty in Bangladesh

  • 5,420 families served in FY18 5,420 families served in FY18
  •  506 volunteers hosted in FY18 506 volunteers hosted in FY18
  • Projects: construction, renovation, WaSH, slum upgrading Projects: construction, renovation, WaSH, slum upgrading

Since 1999, our team has been working with low-income families to fight housing poverty in Bangladesh by building decent homes and repairing or renovating their houses.

To improve the health of families, we partnered with many local organisations to provide access to clean water, safe sanitation facilities and raise personal hygiene standards - effectively reducing the spread of diseases within communities.


Bangladesh is among the most populous countries in the world with more than 1,100 people packed into every square kilometre.

Nearly one-third of the 160 million population is living below the national poverty line, according to World Bank’s data in 2010.

Recent projects include improvements in the Beguntila slum in Dhaka through the provision of clean water supply, improved toilets, communal bath houses and training in better hygiene.

Extreme poverty

More than two million people in the capital city of Dhaka either live in slums or are without any proper shelter. Urban migration is mainly due to better employment opportunities – especially in the ready-made garments sector – and educational opportunities.

While most people migrate for economic reasons, more than 26% leave for the cities because of natural disasters, river erosion and recurrent flooding.

How we alleviate housing poverty in Bangladesh

Our local team works with partners and volunteers to provide decent homes as a way out of poverty.

Responding to natural disasters such as cyclones or storms has enabled us to help Bangladeshi families rebuild more resilient homes.

Read more about urban poverty in Bangladesh

An overview of our projects

Our current project aims to build disaster resilient communities with the capacity to face future disasters in Kaliganj sub-district of…

Our current project aims to build disaster resilient communities with the capacity to face future disasters in Kaliganj sub-district of Satkhira district of Bangladesh. Communities will receive support to resist the effects of the disaster, develop specific behaviours, strategies and measures to reduce risks as well as skills in the management of basic community structures during disastrous events.

Additional funds will be spent on supporting a total of 1,457 economically vulnerable people by improving the resilience of the communities to be better prepared for natural disasters and improving the access to Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) facilities.

The project will achieve this by:

  1. Establishing and providing training to prepare village disaster risk management plans and coordinate with various agencies
  2. Conducting 2 Community Risk Assessments and preparing Disaster Risk Reduction Action PlansProviding training to 900 community members (at least 50% female) on disaster preparedness, water, sanitation and hygiene during disaster and for disaster resilient construction
  3. Providing training to 30 school teachers and 400 students on disaster preparedness and WaSH
  4. Organising a sharing session with other organisations operating in the water sector and area to share lessons and brainstorm for future development
  5. Conducting a ‘Lessons learned’ workshop with 50 beneficiaries, staff, partners and other key stakeholders.


On top of that we are currently working the most vulnerable households (prioritising women-headed households, the elderly and chronically poor) in order to:

  • Construct 25 new houses
  • Retrofit 35 disaster resilient houses with low-cost cement plastered bamboo technology, with integrated rainwater harvesting and solar water desalination systems
  • Build 40 disaster resilient latrines for vulnerable people
the power of a home Bangladesh

Key facts & figures

  • Capital: Dhaka
  • Population:166.3 million
  • Urbanisation: 28.4 % live in cities
  • Life expectancy: 71 years
  • Unemployment rate: 5% (2013 est.)
  • Population living below poverty line: 31.5 % (2010 est.)

Improving living conditions through housing and sanitation

bricks construction icon
Our team in Bangladesh is working in Dhaka and Gazipur districts as well as in the north to implement integrated housing, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) projects.

In a partnership with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), 164 low income families will receive new houses or repair their houses while 62 permanent latrines will be built and 32 tube wells will be installed. The wider community in these districts will also receive WaSH training.

Natural disaster relief and preparedness

In the disaster-prone and poverty-stricken district of Satkhira in the southwest, our local operation aims to help 3,000 people protect their lives and build disaster-resilient housing to help break the cycle of poverty in Bangladesh.

Members of the community will also learn to cultivate and build with bamboo. Jersey Overseas Aid Commission is funding this project.
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Community development

In urban Mymensingh, we are working with Dutch and Korean partners in separate projects to build up the local community. The partnership with Foundation Op Eigen Wieken from the Netherlands aims at promoting a healthy living environment, particularly for women, children and young girls.

We provide technical support to help female-headed households improve their housing. In the same area, a KOICA-funded multi-purpose building will serve as a community centre for social gatherings and livelihood training as well as provide classrooms and a public library. The building also comes with gender-specific public toilets and bath houses.