It is evident that the risk of death can be lessened by ensuring access to safe water, sanitation and improved hygiene practices. With this propitious wisdom, BRAC WASH programme envisage improvement in health by ensuring access to safe water, sanitation and by providing hygiene education to all including men, women, adolescent girls and boys, and children. But it is given that poverty and physical facilities for life living and the environment act as impediments towards improving this situation. Thus, to overcome such constraint and to improve health status of the rural poor, BRAC WASH programme has been launced in 150 upazilas (sub-districts) in three phases effective middle of 2006. The BRAC Research and Evaluation Division conducted baseline, midline and end line surveys in 50 upazilas of the first phase.The study evaluated the impact of the programme on various issues related to water, sanitation and hygiene at household and educational institutions.
We followed a cross-sectional comparative design between baseline (2006), midline (2009) and end line (2011) statuses. Fifty upazila of the first phase of BRAC WASH I programme were selected for baseline, midline and end-line surveys. These upazilas were known as low performing areas in terms of water, sanitation and hygiene coverage compared to the national average. Thirty thousand households from 50 upazilas were selected in two steps: i) 30 villages were selected from each upazila by cluster sampling, and ii) 20 households were chosen systematically from each village. The end line survey covered 26,404 households.
The analysis of the study result reveals that over 97% of the households across the survey area used tubewell water for drinking, while it was least used for bathing in viii both rainy and dry seasons. The use of tubewell water for food preparation significantly increased over time, which is one of the prior concerns of World Health Organization for improvement of health. The proportion of arsenic-free own tubewell increased from baseline (57.8%) to midline (60%) and to end-line (64.6%) (p<0.001), but decreased for shared tubewells across the surveys. Households using sanitary latrines increased significantly at midline (41.5%) and end line (57.4%) from baseline (31.7%) respectively.