President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday said the observance of the 'National Sanitation Month-October 2022' and the 'Global Handwashing Day 2022' will help to create mass awareness and improve sanitation system in the country.
In separate messages, they wished success of all programmes of the sanitation month and the hand-washing day.
The President, in his message, said that hygienic and sustainable sanitation are prerequisite to the protection of public health.
In the context of increasing infections caused by the coronavirus worldwide, improved sanitation and hand washing with soap are very important to prevent diseases like diarrhea, he added.
For a healthy life, it is necessary to develop the habit of washing hands with soap in every work, especially before eating and after toileting, he advised.
President Hamid called for ensuring participation of socially disadvantaged community in the society along with school-college students in these programmes for successful implementation of sanitation programmes.
Public, private institutions and relevant development-agencies should play an active role in spreading mass awareness about proper sanitation, waste management and hygiene across the country, he added.
He said Bangladesh attained remarkable success in the sanitation programme for achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which was also praised massively at the international level.
At present, Bangladesh has taken and implemented various initiatives to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, he mentioned.
He said that sanitary latrine, public and community toilet and wash blocks have been built at primary schools to ensure safe sanitation for all.
In her message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that the government has been working tirelessly for the development of public health since assuming power in 2009.
The United Nations has given special importance to safe sanitation management for attaining the targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), she said.
"Our government is determined to ensure safe sanitation and a healthy environment for all. We have implemented 50 projects at a cost of around Taka 14,000 crore in rural and municipal areas for pure drinking water, safe sanitation and waste management through the Department of Public Health Engineering in around 13.5 years. As a result, now the national coverage of sanitation has increased to 99 percent," she said.
The premier said at present around 99 percent of the country's population has been brought under safe sanitation and safe water sources which were only 33 percent in 2003.
The rate of open defecation was 44 percent in 2003, she said, adding that it has reduced to almost 'Zero'.
This success of Bangladesh has been lauded at the international stage, she said, adding the government has given approval to different projects for ensuring supply of safe drinking water.
She said that many projects related to water testing laboratory, sanitation and waste management are underway and once the projects are implemented, it will be conducive to attain SDGs.
"Our target is to ensure Safely Managed Sanitation and drinking water supply by 2030. For that purpose, proper observance of 'National Sanitation Month' and 'World Hand washing Day' is very important," the premier said.
As a result of the government's sincere efforts, it has been possible to reduce the spread of different diseases including COVID-19 to a large extent, she said.
Sheikh Hasina called upon all concerned, including non-government organizations, development organizations and media to come forward spontaneously to expedite the social movement for safe sanitation.