Washington (BBN)-World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has commended Bangladesh for implementing innovative approaches to rural sanitation.

“Over the last decade, Bangladesh has emerged as a global reference point in experimenting with and implementing innovative approaches to rural sanitation,” said the WB chief urging the world leaders to tackle poverty through increasing access to improved sanitation in Washington on April 11, said a press release of the global lender.

Only 4 percent of the population on Bangladesh currently practices open defecation, a figure that has come down remarkably from 42 percent in 2003, in particular compared to other countries in the region. However, while much has been achieved, there is still much that needs to be done, said the WB chief during a programme titled “Reducing Poverty by Closing South Asia’s Infrastructure Gap".

There is an urgent need for greater availability and affordability of hygienic latrines,” said Johannes Zutt, the World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Nepal.

The sanitation marketing program supported by the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), alongside other partners offers specialised training to small scale entrepreneurs to make toilets available and affordable to the poor, the press release added.

Through the sanitation marketing program of the World Bank in Bangladesh, small scale entrepreneurs learn to build hygienic latrines, and to market them to their customers.

This stimulates supply and demand for sanitation facilities that benefit the poor.

BBN/ANS/AD/13Apr14-4:45 pm (BST)