Category Archives: South Asia

Pakistan president to open national sanitation conference PACOSAN II

PACOSAN-II-logo

President Mamnoon Hussain will inaugurate the 2nd Pakistan Conference on Sanitation (PACOSAN II) that is being held from 17-18 February 2015 at the Sareena Hotel in Islamabad.

PACOSAN II is organised by the Ministry of Climate Change, with the support of WaterAid, UNICEF, Water and Sanitation Program – South Asia (WSP-SA), Plan Pakistan and other sector partners.

Even though Pakistan has achieved a significant reduction in open defecation, it is still practised by 41 million people.

The 1st national sanitation conference PACOSAN I took place in May 2009 – see a conference report on the WSP website.

Follow updates on Twitter at @PACOSAN_II and on Facebook.

SACOSAN returns to Bangladesh in 2016

7th inter-country working group (ICWG) meeting of SACOSAN, 27 Jan 2015.

7th inter-country working group (ICWG) meeting of SACOSAN, 27 Jan 2015. Photo: Focus Bangla/Financial Express

A Bangladesh government official has disclosed that the 6th South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN-VI) will be held in Dhaka on 11 January 2016. Bangladesh hosted the first edition of SACOSAN in 2003.

Manjur Hossain, a senior secretary of the Local Government Division (LGD) of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives was speaking at the 7th inter-country working group (ICWG) meeting of SACOSAN. The meeting was hosted by LGD from 27-28 January 2015 in Dhaka.

Also at the meeting was Md Akram Al Hossain, coordinator of the SACOSAN-VI secretariat and Joint Secretary, Upazila Branch at LGD.

Related website: SACOSAN-V

Source: 97 percent use hygienic sanitation, Dhaka Tribune, 28 Jan 2015 ; 97pc people brought under sanitation coverage, Financial Express, 28 Jan 2015

BRAC enters sanitation Hall of Fame

At the 14th World Toilet Summit 2015, BRAC received the “Hall of Fame Award” for significant contributions to the sanitation sector in Bangladesh.

WTO presents sanitation Hall of Fame Award to BRAC

On 20 January, BRAC received the “Hall of Fame Award” for significant contributions to the sanitation sector in Bangladesh. The award was handed to Dr. Akramul Islam at the 14th World Toilet Summit 2015 in Delhi by Dr. Subramanian Swamy MP, Former Minister of India, and Jack Sim Founder of the World Toilet Organization in the presence of Minister Devendra Chaudhry, Special Secretary, Ministry of Power India.

Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in providing basic sanitation services to its people. It is now estimated that throughout Bangladesh, 57% use sanitary latrines, while a mere 3% of the people still practise open defecation.

Over 8 years, the BRAC WASH programme reached more than 66 million people, about half of the rural population of Bangladesh. It has successfully worked to improve household sanitation by creating demand for hygienic latrines while supporting an extensive supply chain and local businesses. Current coverage with hygienic and adequately maintained toilets is 82% in the 152 districts where BRAC has worked. All these successes have been underpinned by a strong provision of service to the poor and ultra-poor and by a unique hygiene promotion programme focusing on universal use and sustainability of services in communities, households and schools.

IRC is a knowledge partner of BRAC WASH since 2005.

Read more at: http://www.ircwash.org/news/brac-enters-sanitation-hall-fame

India launches national monitoring of toilet use

How does India’s new large-scale sanitation monitoring effort compare with similar initiatives in Bangladesh and Indonesia?

India toilet monitoring app

Image: Government of India (GoI)

According to some media the Indian government has unleashed “toilet police” or “toilet gestapo” into the country [1]. In fact, the central government has instructed local officials to take photographs of new toilets to prove that they have not only been constructed but are also being used. If states don’t upload photos by February 2015, the water and sanitation ministry has threatened to withhold funding from a new national sanitation programme [2].

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From WASH to Environmental WASH: BRAC’s new strategy

BRAC LogoBRAC plans to expand its scope beyond WASH to water security and from rural to urban areas, as well as moving from service provider to facilitator.

The BRAC WASH Programme is rebranding. For 2016-2020 it will be renamed as the BRAC Environmental WASH Programme. This reflects the planned gradual expansion in scope beyond WASH towards water security and from rural areas towards low income small towns, urban areas and coastal areas. Specific areas of intervention include solid waste management at scale, faecal sludge management, water security and quality, enhanced secondary school programmes and alternative sanitation technologies at scale.

There will be a gradual shift in operating styles from direct service to facilitation, advocacy and joint implementation, learning and monitoring the impact of programmes. Operational partners will include Government at all levels, civil society, the private sector and other NGOs already operating in the same regions. Planning and budgeting will need to be flexible and adapted to specific regional needs, requiring on-going investment in staff and partners capacities.

The strategy builds on ten years of experience in large-scale rural WASH programming. Ongoing support to the rural population will continue and be enhanced, for example, dealing with the well-known challenge of sanitation in difficult hydrogeological settings, and will be integrated into other local BRAC programmes. Staffing will be reduced where earlier programmes have achieved their objectives and appear sustainable within existing institutional structures.

In terms of its financing, a mix is envisaged of grants, joint implementation of programmes with government and multi-lateral institutions and business models that apply market solutions to large scale change. Cost sharing and user payment in some activities will remain a feature of the programme. Direct BRAC support is being applied to programme development and piloting, for example, alternative water services in the coastal region.

Read the draft version of Strategy 2016 – 2020 BRAC Environmental WASH programme : everyone, everywhere, all the time.

See also IRC’s webpage on the BRAC WASH Programme.

The news item was orginally published on the IRC website on 16 January 2015

Yes, hygiene and school enrolment are directly proportional

In Bangladesh, the lack of separate latrines for girls and menstrual hygiene facilities in secondary schools are major factors in the disproportionate rate of absence and dropout of adolescent girls.

Sabrina Shaidullah Sabrina Shahidullah

A study undertaken in Bangladesh revealed an 11 per cent increase in girls’ enrolment mainly due to the provision of sanitary toilets.” -Technical paper series/IRC

In Bangladesh the standard number of toilets in schools has been set as a minimum of one toilet for every 60 students. However, this is far from being achieved. The infographic below shows that on average, schools in Bangladesh have half the number of toilets required. However, although 94 per cent of schools have latrines within the compound, a large number remain unusable because they are dirty or broken.

BRAC WASH School Sanitation graph

Source: UNICEF WASH for school children South Asia Report, 2012

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Open Defecation in India by Assa Doron and Robin Jeffrey

Open Defecation in India. EPW Economic & Political Weekly, December 6, 2014 vol xlix no 49

Authors: Assa Doron, Robin Jeffrey

This study identifies 11 issues that have inhibited the spread of a comprehensive sanitation programme. It emphasises the complexity of issues and helps avoid the facile targeting of the poor as deficient citizens, whose latrine practices are viewed as a “primitive” source of social disorder and disease. Recognition that many factors are involved and interrelated might also serve as a warning against patchwork policies that disregard local context in their haste to proclaim another district an “open defecation free zone”.