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ENTREPRENEUR PROFILE: Rethinking subsidy options in Bangladesh


Azad Rejaul Karim is the chairman of the Nawpara Union Parishad, an administrative district of Bangladesh that is one of the most remote in the country and where the population is exceedingly poor. Many of the men are forced to migrate to different locations in search of work, leaving the women and children at home where they face very challenging livelihood conditions. Most of the local economic activity is subsistence farming, with very little disposable income. Thus, the sanitation condition of Nawpara Union is quite dire. Although the Union had reported in the past that they had 100% sanitation coverage, they recently admitted that only 60% of the local households had a hygienic toilet.

Azad learned about the SanBox and SaTo Pan sanitation options during a technology introduction session organized by iDE’s Bangladesh WASH project team in February 2016. He was excited about the technologies, but was afraid that the households in his Union would require loans in order to afford upgrading to a hygienic latrine. A month later, during a discussion with other Union Parishad representatives regarding these sanitation products, Azad made the decision to use Union funds to purchase and distribute 450 SaTo Pans to the ultra-poor in his district through an iDE-trained latrine provider.

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A fortunate son

ENTREPRENEUR PROFILE: Improved toilets provide safety, dignity, and privacy in Ghana

The migration of young people from small villages and farms to the city opens up additional options for improving the lives of those who remain behind. Making improved toilets affordable can spur increasing sanitation coverage by marketing to this newly affluent group.


Read more: ENTREPRENEUR PROFILE: How young urban professionals are investing in improved toilets to honor their parents