SDG 6 four years’ journey of Bangladesh: actions to accelerate

Posted by
Clement Serao
28 December 2019
Cover Figure: Dr Feroze Ahmed presenting the keynote

WaterAid organised a Consultation Meet titled ‘SDG 6 four years’ journey of Bangladesh: actions to accelerate’ on December 28, 2019 in Dhaka. This event held as a response to the WASH sector’s requirement of an immediate and sound analysis regarding the implications of the SDG indicators for national progress on water and sanitation in Bangladesh.

Dr M Feroze Ahmed, Professor Emeritus, Stamford University, in his keynote speech discussed where Bangladesh stands after four years since the start of the SDG era based on the most updated statistics like MICS and JMP. Dr Feroze in his presentation, expressed his concern regarding fecal contamination of drinking water as it is significantly hindering access to safely managed water. He also discussed about the implications of the global definition of ‘safe sanitation’ on in-country implementation of SDG 6 in Bangladesh.

In a complimentary presentation, Dr. Ahsan Mansur, Executive Director of Policy Research Institute (PRI) explained the importance and urgency of integrating Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in the upcoming 8th Five Year Plan. He urged for an immediate increase in national budget for WASH to decrease the lagging if we want to make our schedule of 2030 accurate and up to date.

Figure: Dr Ahsan Mansur presenting on WASH incorporation in 8thFYP

In open discussion session, the key stakeholders from the government and other CSO representatives discussed about the ongoing challenges based on the learned experiences from this time period and emphasised on data clarity in order to build a common understanding on how to respond to the need and strategies for SDG 6 in Bangladesh. The distinguished participants from the sector also discussed about the issues related to the community-designed shared toilets, sanitation in institutions and single pit toilets as a technological choice to achieve the sanitation targets of the Sustainable Development Goal 6 for Bangladesh.

Figure: Distinguished guests sharing their opinion in the Consultation Meet

Among the distinguished guests, Kazi Ashraf Uddin, additional secretary, local government division highly appreciated this timely and responsible initiative from WaterAid.

Figure: Kazi Ashraf Uddin, additional secretary, local government division during his speech

This has become imperative to find where we stand and assess our progress on attaining SDG 6 to focus upon the important things we need to do for moving in a right direction and eliminate the risk in the path of achieving the targets. We need to assess whether the actions we are taking are enough to move us closer towards the massive task completion by 2030. This consultation meet will help to get much better insight for the tasks that we will do in future and based on that we can reprioritize our work. A report based on this consultation is being prepared and will be published once completed.