20pc of city dwellers have access to sewerage system

Reveals ITN-BUET report

FE Report | Sunday, 7 April 2019

Only 20 per cent of the people living in Dhaka city have access to the sewerage system while the rest are under the coverage of the on-site system, according to a report.
With almost entire population depending on the on-site sanitation system, it is apparent that achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) target 6.2 (Sanitation and hygiene) by the year 2030 will be difficult without effective faecal sludge management (FSM) and wastewater management, the report states.
The report styled Sanitation Status, FSM and CWIS in Bangladesh was presented at a workshop on City Wide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS) in Bangladesh at a city hotel on Saturday.
ITN-BUET, a centre of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, with support of Bill& Melinda Gates Foundation organised the function.
FSM Sector Expert & Adviser, ITN-BUET, Prof Md Mujibur Rahman gave welcome address and presented the report.
Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) Minister Tajul Islam spoke on the occasion as the chief guest with Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) Chief Engineer Md Saifur Rahman in the chair.
Senior Secretary of the Ministry of LGRD and CSM Ghulam Farooque and Deputy Director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Dr Roshan Raj Shrestha attended the event as special guests.
In the absence of proper sludge management services, the pit latrines and septic tank-contents are often drained into the surrounding low-lying areas, or into storm drainage system polluting the environment hugely, the report said.
Speaking on the occasion, Tazul Islam emphasised a comprehensive plan on sanitation including all.
"We need to explore every possible option to ensure safe and improved sanitation, not only to achieve SDG 6.2, but for the safety of the nation," he said.
The minister said Bangladesh has successfully achieved MDG sanitation target, and is now focusing on achieving SDG, particularly sanitation target.
He also mentioned that waste management (solid and faecal) and water supply should be incorporated in the academic programmes of schools and colleges.
In that way, students would learn about these issues and help their families to be sensitised as well.
Dr Roshan Raj Shrestha said, "NSS/FSM was introduced to bridge the gaps of the traditional sanitation system. But as these systems also have limitations, a new framework/approach has been introduced to incorporate both sewer and non-sewer sanitation."
He also said, "ITN-BUET in collaboration with DPHE is building capacity of LGIs and DPHE officials on CWIS through implementing a national level capacity building programme under the BMGF financial support."
He also emphasised consideration of gender, equity and poor community during planning for sanitation.
Ghulam Farooque laid emphasis on collective efforts and building awareness among the people to ensure the inclusive and safely managed sanitation.
Saifur Rahman mentioned that DPHE has started implementing water supply and sanitation projects in 89 Paurashavas.
Application has been submitted to the Ministry of Planning for implementing similar project in 112 more Paurashavs (municipalities), he added.
Apart from this, a discussion was held to look into the ways to scale up sustainable CWIS in Bangladesh.
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