National, Back Page

Water, sanitation collaboration needed

Published : 27 Feb 2020 09:05 PM | Updated : 06 Sep 2020 10:28 PM

Water and sanitation sectors will have to collaborate to achieve the relevant target of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, experts opined. They said that separate wash budgets should be formulated to ensure consistency in water and sanitation improvement, with the participation of various non-governmental organisation (NGO) networks.

According to the Water Project NGO report, the WHO estimates that 97% of the people of Bangladesh have access to water, and only 40% percent have proper sanitation. With a staggering 60% of the population that has to endure unsafe drinking water, the nation is in danger.

The availability of this water fluctuates greatly throughout the year as the warmer season brings in large quantities of monsoons and the cooler season often brings drought. The infrastructure cannot adequately deal with the barrage of water in the monsoon season, so the water is not saved for the drier months. Of the water that is available, over 80 percent is used for agriculture.

Additional Secretary, Water Supply Division of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives, Zahirul Islam said, "This sector needs the coordination of Government NGOs, which we have. We also look at the regional parts. The biggest aspect is that our Prime Minister has her own commitments in this sector.”

In many countries of the world, the government does not give enough attention to water and sanitation. This is a very organized sector compared to our other sectors. As a result, there is a one-billion-dollar project, a project with arsenic, and a separate project on the mountains, the official said.

However, sustainable development is a major challenge. We have many sources of water, which are not sustainable, he also said. "We will build five water treatment plants in Dhaka City," he said. This water and sanitation sector has a US $ 3 billion investment.”

Chief Engineer of the Department of Public Health Engineering Saifur Rahman said,” safe water should be ensured in the courtyard of every house. We have 1 million water sources. I have made 54 water laboratories in 2019. Previously there were 12 more.”

Alok Kumar Majumder, Country Co-ordinator at Wash Alliance International (WAI), said, slum dwellers, metropolitan areas, hills, and brothels are also to be ensured safe water. Because the goal of SDGs is not to let anyone lag behind. We have 9 to 10 percent of people with disabilities in the country, we have to ensure sanitation for them in the meantime," he said.