The ‘Institutional and Regulatory Framework for Faecal Sludge Management (FSM)’ was officially launched at an event held at the capital’s Department of Public Health Engineering recently.
Nasrin Akter, Additional Secretary, Local Government Division formally launched this much anticipated Framework, which will help address the country’s growing need for FSM systems for proper containment, emptying, transportation, treatment and disposal of faecal sludge. This Framework will act as a guideline for government and non-government institutions to follow, especially the Local Government Institutions (LGIs) in order to ensure provisions of better sanitation services for the country’s population who need it the most.
Ms. Akter, present at the ceremony as Chief Guest, while speaking on the issue stated her vision regarding the implementation of this Framework and how she sees this as a milestone in the country’s sanitation sector, further helping achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 6.
Among Special Guests present at the launch were Md. Mahbub Hossein, Additional Secretary, Local Government Division; Carlos Acosta, Chief, Social Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation of UNICEF Bangladesh; and Dr Mujibur Rahman, Professor, BUET. The launching event was chaired by Md. Rashedul Huque, Chief Engineer, Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE).
Following the launching ceremony in the morning, a ‘Workshop on Health and Safety of the Septic Tank/Pit Emptiers’ was organized jointly by National Sanitation Secretariat, Department of Public Health Engineering and FSM Network Bangladesh in the second half of the day, which focused on the urgent need for safeguarding lives of septic tank/pit emptiers – a highly vulnerable and stigmatised group.
Md. Mahbub Hossein, Additional Secretary, Local Government Division was the Chief Guest and A. K. M. Ibrahim, Additional Chief Engineer, Department of Public Health Engineering had chaired the workshop.
On behalf of FSM Network Bangladesh Dr Md. Khairul Islam, Country Director of WaterAid Bangladesh spoke on the necessary steps to be taken for helping out these sanitation workers and requested government and non-government organisations to come together to solve this crisis.
There were more than 220 participants out of which around 50 were GOB officials, 60 septic tank emptiers from different towns, 30 from Local Government Institutions and the rest were from NGOs, academia and media. The workshop and day-long event was concluded by A. K. M. Ibrahim, Additional Chief Engineer, Department of Public Health Engineering; followed by an exciting cultural program afterwards.