HC Deb 28 January 2004 vol 417 c420W
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what measures are in place to provide people living in the slums of Bangladesh with(a) clean water and (b) electricity. [150345]

Mr. Gareth Thomas

As elsewhere, slum dwellers in Bangladesh have few legal entitlements to essential services. As a consequence, they experience poor service provision, including water and electricity.

There are two distinct types of slum in Bangladesh, public and private: (i) In public slums, some NGOs have taken the initiative to act as intermediaries between municipal water service providers and slum dwellers occupying public land. These NGOs become the customer of the water service provider and supply the slum dwellers through tap points. Those who use the tap points pay for the water they use. DFID is supporting such activities through a £17 million grant to WaterAid. Electricity is not usually affordable for slum dwellers, although it is not unusual for houses to be served by illegal connections; and (ii) In private slums, the landlord makes arrangements for the provision of services such as water and electricity and charges slum dwellers for use of the service.