WaterAid hosts the National Conference on Sustainable Urban Water and Sanitation 2022

8 September 2022

On Monday, 05 September 2022, WaterAid Bangladesh and NIRAS Sweden jointly organised the SUWAS National Conference 2022 at Amari Dhaka. The conference was funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and focused on sharing results, learning, and the impact of the International Training Programme on Sustainable Urban Water and Sanitation (ITP-SUWAS) at participating organisations in Dhaka and Khulna, current WASH situation in these cities, along with their specific needs for enhanced engagement, integration, and awareness raising for WASH processes.

The conference was attended by the SUWAS alumni from 9 batches, who have been a part of the international training programme since 2016. The trainees were engaged in 15 months long capacity building programme and were encouraged to become change agents in their organisations and cities. They actively contributed to the planning and implementation of more sustainable, inclusive, and integrated urban water and sanitation services in Dhaka and Khulna. In the past five years, 54 professionals from 23 participating organisations in Bangladesh including service-oriented public institutions, development organisations, and academia successfully completed the programme and positively contributed to sectoral development. Representatives from these participating organisations also attended the conference to strengthen the spirit of collaboration between diverse actors working towards common development goals.

A-C: National Facilitators, SUWAS Asia Programme Director, Mentor addressing and presenting programme approach; D: Panel discussion; E: Alumni presenting impacts of change projects; F: Guests of honour addressing; G: Group photo H: Gallery exhibition
WaterAid/ Zarif Oieshik

Mr Tahmidul Islam, Technical Advisor – WASH of WaterAid Bangladesh, who is also the National Facilitator of ITP SUWAS in Bangladesh, welcomed everyone to this National Conference. The programme started with a panel discussion in presence of eminent representatives from participating organisations: Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (DWASA), Khulna University, Department of Public Health and Engineering (DPHE), SAJIDA Foundation, Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC). The discussion was facilitated by Professor Tanvir Ahmed, Director, ITN-BUET, and alumnus of the training programme; the panelists shared views on ways to build on results and synergies from SUWAS experiences. The panel highlighted the importance of increased coordination among public and development organisations in reaching marginalised communities and the role of academia in capacity building at different levels.

guest of honor
Honorable guests of honour
WaterAid/ Zarif Oieshik

H E Ms Alexandra Berg von Linde, Ambassador, Embassy of Sweden in Dhaka; Dr Mahmood Hossain, Vice-Chancellor, Khulna University; Engr Taqsem A Khan, Managing Director, Dhaka WASA; and Engr Md Abdullah, Managing Director, Khulna WASA, and Ms Hasin Jahan, Country Director, WaterAid Bangladesh graced the event as guests of honour on this occasion. They pointed out how the SUWAS program has changed the mindsets of the change agents and implementation of their small changes can contribute in big ways to improving urban water and sanitation access. H E Ms Alexandra encouraged SUWAS alumni and WASH professionals in Bangladesh to remain committed and to be creative as it a priority to provide inclusive water and sanitation services to all in society while considering the environmental resources which must also be preserved. Finally, Ms Hasin Jahan, Country Director, WaterAid Bangladesh congratulated the participating individuals and organisations for the steps they are taking to improve the quality of their services and their attention to the needs of the most marginalised communities.

To get a quick glance of the ITP-SUWAS programme in Bangladesh, please click here.