This project covers the following

sustainability goals of the United Nations: 


Establishing a Sustainable Drinking Water Supply for Climate Vulnerable Dacope Upazilla, Bangladesh

Quick Facts

Project Location:             Dacope, Khulna, Bangladesh

Project Execution:           3 Projects in 2018

Project Duration:             12 Months

Targeted Beneficiaries:   3,900 people

Project Costs:                 20,632 Euro

Per-Capita Costs:           5,30 Euro/Person

Executive Partner:          RUPANTAR, Khulna

Core Problems of Water Supply in Dacope

A combination of tidal flooding, inundation by storm surges and saltwater intrusion has led to a rise in salinity in the groundwater and the fresh-water ponds, causing acute drinking water crisis in the coastal area of Bangladesh, especially in Dacope, Khulna. Due to climate change and other re-enforcing factors, over half (54%) of the population now lack access to clean water in Dacope. This leads to increased rates of disease, lower attendance rates at school and work, and a drastic reduction in overall life quality. The WHO estimates that 80% of child mortality cases in the area are the result of drinking contaminated drinking water.



Drinking water sources are not only contaminated but also often located so far away that hours of travel (by foot) are required to secure daily water needs, in areas often ravaged by storms and flooding. Women and children are therefore exposed to a considerable risk. As a result, children are unable to go to school because they are either sick or on the road for several hours to get a canister of drinking water from neighboring towns.

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Dacope Upazilla

Population: 157,500

Female / Male: 46% / 54%

Literacy Rate: 38%

Livelihood: Agriculture and Fisheries 

Our projects

Our initiative "Water4Dacope" supports the population living in the southwestern country district at the coast of Bangladesh in implementing an independent and stable drinking water supply. We accomplish the project's goals through specific execution of local projects with multiplicative effects for the neighbouring regions.  


To overcome the severe water crisis in Dacope, we set up a project to install low-tech community based water filters, repair & upgrade existing slow sand filters, install rain water harvesting & treatment systems (especially in critical community place like schools, colleges, markets etc.), and to train selected community people to operate the water treatment facilities independently. 


In the year 2018 conducted 3 projects in Dacope.

Two years later

At the end of 2020, two years after the completion of the last work on the pond sand filters, almost all pond sand filters are in use. In most of the filters, the top layer of sand has already been filtered and small repairs have been carried out to ensure that the filters continue to function smoothly. For the only filter that is currently out of service, the team is currently busy with repairs. This shows us that our trained maintenance and repair team is working very well so far!


Implemented Projects

Project 3 - Reparation of three sand filters


Project start:   15.09.2018 (scheduled 01.08.2018; delayed due to bad weather conditions)

Duration:         3 months

Beneficiaries:  approx. 900 inhabitants


Because of heavy rain in the project's area, the work of our third project could only start mids of September. Here, three more sand filter were repaired in the villages Chitabunia, East Bajua and Kamarkhola, with the adjusted training of the local maintaining personnel as well as the formation of a water management committee for ensuring the lasting operation such as the financing of regular maintenance of the filters. The total budget accounted for 4,441€. Tools for Life was supporting our project with a donation of 3,941€. The own share of ASCEND accounted for 500€.  

Project 2 - Reparation of two sand filters and installation of a new sand filter


Project time span:   01.05. - 31.08.2018 (scheduled 31.07.2018; delayed due to bad weather conditions)

Duration:                 4 months

Beneficiaries:          approx. 1,070 inhabitants


Our second project was delayed because of heavy rain in June 2018 in the project area in Bangladesh. Construction partly had to be completely interrupted for a duration of up to three weeks. Meanwhile, the two sand filters to be repaired in Saheberabad and Podderganj as well as the construction of the newly implemented sand filter in the village West Bajua has been completed. In total, 1,070 locals benefit from our project and have regained access to clean drinking water. The total budget accounted for 6,084€. The ALTERNAID Foundation supported our project with a donation of 5,100€. The own share of ASCEND accounted for 1,000€

Insights in Project 2

Project 1 - Reparation of two sand filters and construction of a rain water facility at an elementary school


Project time span:   01.02. - 30.04.2018

Duration:                 3 months

Beneficiaries:          600 inhabitants und 350 pupils


As part of our first project, a total of ten community based slow sand filters were installed, repaired and upgraded in ten different villages in Dacope. A separate rainwater harvesting and treatment system is being set up for a primary school in Dacope, which is attended 350 students age 5-12 years.


ASCEND and RUPANTAR repaired two sand filters in the villages Orabunia and East Saheberabad and installed a new rain water facility and storing system for the Kakrabunia primary school in Saheberabad. All together, 950 people benefit from the project and regain access to clean drinking water. The total budget accounted for 7,174€. The Niedersächsische Bingo-Environmental-Foundation supported our project with a donation of 5,280€. 


Insights in Project 1

Behind the project:

What did we want to achieve?

  • Provide a stable supply of clean and accessible drinking water for as many citizens as possible.

  • Train local skilled operators for the regular operation, maintenance, and repair of water facilities.

  • Establish a local financing system in which all users contribute small amounts for the upkeep of the filters and to pay the operators and caretakers.

How does the project help?

Direct Benefits

  • Citizens will suffer fewer health problems associated with contaminated drinking water.

  • The working class will miss fewer workdays and have a more regular income.

  • Time spent on freshwater collection will be drastically reduced for women and children, improving school attendance and education. 

  • Child mortality will be significantly reduced. 

Indirect Benefits

  • The project will train local people and build local know-how for independent maintenance and repair of water filtration systems – rather than depend on external funding agents and charitable organizations indefinitely.

  • Critical jobs will be created in the water sector, staffed by local workers who will learn the skills necessary to manage the system long after the project has concluded. 

  • Local citizens can then transfer their knowledge to neighbouring villages. According to the WHO, every $1 invested in a stable and clean drinking water supply will contribute to an economic return of $3-34 US dollars, thus improving the economic situation of the region and reducing poverty.

How were the funds used?

Material Costs

Costs for materials such as concrete or steel necessary for the construction and repair of the water filter systems and rainwater collecting systems.


Costs for Training and Capacity Building

Use of funds for the training of the local people and the establishment of a local financing system for maintenance and repair, as well as the support of on-site construction and repair work.


Administrative Costs

Organizational costs of our project partner RUPANTAR in Bangladesh (such as obtaining necessary permits from the Bangladesh government, transport costs, costs for official meetings with the respective local authorities), which are equally important for the implementation of the project.