UNITAR & Bangladesh Mission Delivers Participatory Approaches to Sanitation Workshop
12 July, 2018 New York, USA - The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and Mission of Bangladesh hosted a workshop titled, Participatory Approaches to Sanitation: Learning from Bangladesh as part of High-Level Political Forum Sustainable Development Goals Learning, Training and Practice 2018. HLPF is the central platform for review of the 2030 Agenda for SDG 6, 7, 11, 12, 15, and 17 with this year’s theme being, “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies”. Opening remarks for this workshop was given by Permanent Representative of Bangladesh, Masud Bin Momen outlining how Bangladesh’s Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA) has developed their sanitation programmes and addressing their water crisis. Mr. Nikhil Seth, Executive Director of UNITAR and UN Assistant Secretary-General, also provided welcoming remarks to the audience, sharing that parts of India is also trying to tackle similar issues and has similar challenges as Bangladesh. Mr. Seth applauded Bangladesh on their efforts and the progress it has made in the last decade in the areas of sanitation. Bangladesh shared very interesting data points about how it’s improved its water and sanitation networks in the last decade – doubling the supply in many local areas.
An interesting idea that Bangladesh shared to the group of many delegates as well as students from all around the world was fresh water “ATM” booths. These water booths were devised to address clean water crisis in certain parts of Dhaka. A case study was shared by a NGO, WaterAid’s representative Ms. Sharukh Yasmin Mirza who is working in Bangladesh’s diverse rural and urban environment through projects that bring safe water and improved sanitation especially for Bangladeshi women, and promoting hygiene behaviour.The Bangladesh Mission also shared how by collaborating with UNICEF, they were able to develop a cartoon series called “Meena” in order to foster hygienic behaviour in kids at an early age. The cartoon has been translated in languages like Bengali, Hindi, Urdu and Nepali! Engineer Taqem A. Khan, Managing Director of Dhaka WASA shared tips on how it is to manage sanitation and water in a megacity (even terming it as a gigacity) like Dhaka with a population of 17 million. Many of the UNITAR participants asked questions during the interactive session and thought about how they can apply what Bangladesh is utilizing in their own countries.