The Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (DWASA) has appointed SMEC in a Joint Venture with ACE Bangladesh and Development Design Consultants Ltd as Project Management Consultant for the Dhaka Sanitation Improvement project (DSIP).

Dhaka City, the capital of Bangladesh, is home to an estimated 17 million people and is one of the fastest growing mega cities in the world. Rapid urbanisation has exerted immense pressure on Dhaka’s infrastructure, particularly waste management and drainage.


The Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh has signed a financial agreement with the World Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to finance the implementation of priority works defined in the Sewerage Master Plan (2013) in Dhaka City. The Sewerage Master plan of Dhaka identifies US$1.7 billion worth of phased investment in wastewater collection and treatment infrastructure over the next 20 years.


DSIP represents the first phase of the investment program. This will include the provision of comprehensive sanitation infrastructure that combines wastewater treatment, sewerage and improved non-network sanitation systems in the Pagla catchment area. The Pagla catchment is located in southern area of Dhaka city and encompasses approximately 64km2, inhabited by over 4.2 million people.


Map of project area


The SMEC JV will focus on two key components:

  • Institutional Support for Sanitation Service Delivery, which aims to strengthen the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (DWASA, the executing agency) for sustainable sanitation service delivery.
  • Project Implementation and Management Support, which intends to support DWASA to establish a Project Management Unit to prepare and implement this Project.

The team will also support:

  • Sewerage and Wastewater Treatment, which consists of investments for replacement, rehabilitation or reconstruction of existing sewerage and wastewater treatment facilities of Pagla Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP), and to improve its sewerage network.
  • Non-Network Sanitation, which consists of investments for development of non-network sanitation services in the Pagla STP network area, where sewers are not feasible.

On the 13th February, SMEC and our JV partners attended the contract signing ceremony at DWASA Headquarters. The JV team core areas of expertise includes institutional, financial, environmental, social, and technical professionals. Across each core area, the JV presents strong capability in the management of internationally financed construction projects, combined with extensive experience in monitoring large urban sewerage infrastructure facilities.


Mohammad Masudur Rahman Bhuiyan, Country Manager for Bangladesh said, “Dhaka Sanitation Improvement project is going to revamp the whole wastewater and sewerage network of Dhaka city improving the overall urban experience of its 17 million city dwellers. We SMEC as the Project Management Consultant of this project will bring in SMEC’s industry leading project management expertise and tools to ensure smooth implementation of this project. Also, SMEC will work closely with the DWASA team and transfer knowledge to strengthen their capabilities.”


Chief guest, Deputy Managing Director (RP & D) of Dhaka WASA, Dr.Engr.Md.Mizanur Rahman discussed some of the major outcomes of the project.