SACOSAN VI Starting in Dhaka

SACOSAN VIThe South Asian Conference on Sanitation is returning to Dhaka. After the first inspiring conference in 2003, the Government of Bangladesh is hosting SACOSAN VI from January 11-13, 2016. It is also the first international exchange by the Ministry of Water Supply and Sanitation, as it was recently created in recognition of the Government of Nepal's commitment to strengthening WASH sector capacity for service delivery. 

SACOSAN, a government led biennial convention held on a rotational basis in each SAARC country provides a platform for interaction on sanitation and sharing of good practice. As all successfull initiatives, SACOSAN leads to commitments to adapt policy and practice. Thus it supports a Regional Agenda on sanitation, enabling learning from past experiences and setting actions for the future. 

The Government of Nepal has set a target to achieve universal coverage of water supply and sanitation by 2017. The aim of the water supply and sanitation sector is to improve the health and dignity of people and raise national productivity. While earlier annual promotional activities created an interest in improving sanitation, the formulation of the Sanitation and Hygiene Master Plan 2011, was a milestone that generated a strong people's movement for an Open Defecation Free Nepal and total sanitation campaigns in collaboration with stakeholders. The Constitution of Nepal 2015 has included people's right to safe water and sanitation as a fundamental right under the Right to Health. Realization of these rights are facilitated by various laws and policies, and are incorporated in the draft WASH act and policy 2015. The 2014 WASH Operational Directives further provide guidance to the sector and the public, and raise accountability.

The SACOSAN process has certainly helped us. Nepal has been an active supporter of the process right from the beginning and we are now seeing the benefits. In 2000, just about 25% of households, mainly in the urban areas, had access to a toilet. In 2015, this figure has risen to 70%, with many rural households and communities now enjoying the use of a toilet. Out of 75 districts, 27 claim ODF status. And from 217 towns, 81 have declared ODF. Still a good way to go, to ensure sustainability, move towards total sanitation, and take care of fecal sludge (see also below). Embedding good hygiene behaviour takes time as well, but it is certainly improving. The Nepal SACOSAN VI country report can be downloaded here.

 

 

SACOSAN VI in Dhaka this week

SACOSAN VI

press conf Sacosan

The Nepal SACOSAN team is attending the SACOSAN VI. Conference in Dhaka.  The team is led by the Secretary of the Ministry of Water Supply and Sanitation, Suresh Prakash Acharya. Sunday a press conference was held where Rajan Raj Pandey, Joint Secretary, (3d from left) represented Nepal.  

The South Asian Conference on Sanitation is returning to Dhaka. After  the first inspiring conference in 2003, the Government of Bangladesh is hosting SACOSAN VI from January 11-13, 2016. It is also the first international exchange by the Ministry of Water Supply and Sanitation, as it was recently created in recognition of the Government of Nepal's commitment to strengthening WASH sector capacity for service delivery. 

Concerned about Fecal Sludge?

You should be: it is an environmental health risk if not treated and disposed of on our surface water and land. But well managed it is also a source of energy and fertilizer.

Facecal 3The Department of Water Supply and Sewerage (DWSS) inaugurated a national Workshop on Fecal Sludge Management in the presence of the Hon. Minister of Urban Development Dr. Narayan Khadka today in Kathmandu. 

In the context of increasing challenges in this area, the few waste water management plants that were once functional in Kathmandu Valley are hardly operational and have been overtaken by urbanization.

The situation in other parts of the country is not much better, with most towns not yet having reasonable (central) treatment facilities. Some do exist, as in Hetauda and Pokhara, but all are suffering from financing and management problems. 

Facecal 1Nepal is the most rapidly urbanizing country in South Asian region - the urban population is estimated to have increased to 38.5% now from 17% in 2011. As per census 2011, 30% of urban population has toilets connected to sewer system while 48% have septic tanks. 


Recently, the number of municipalities has been increased to 191 (2014) from 58(2011). Thus urgent action is needed to equip the urban setting with management systems for emptying, collection, transportation, and treatment of fecal sludge to avoid that sludge from the septic tanks and wastewater are either dumped randomly into nearby rivers or on marginal land without any treatment.

The ongoing workshop aims to develop an action plan for fecal sludge management. The plan will be included in the Sector Development Plan (SDP).  

Facecal 2

The Workshop is receiving technical support from CDD/BORDA, SNV Bangladesh, EAWAG and the Gates Foundation, and undertaken as part of the Third Small Town water Supply and Sanitation Project, co-financed by the ADB. 

Text and Photo by: Han Heijnen,  FSM value chain above: after EAWAG 2008 

The Nepal Team explores SACOSAN VI (2)

SACOSAN VI

The SACOSAN Conference was inaugurated this Monday morning by H.E. the President of Bangladesh Abdul Hamid. He urged the Conference to explore innovative and sustainable solutions in sanitation. Good sanitation practice is essential to a healthy society and economic growth. It will substantially contribute to achieving the SDGs.

Prof. Feroze Ahmed gave an inspiring key-note address, indicating that Bangladesh has now achieved nearly 100% ODF and would now need to work on improving and upgrading sanitation facilities and systems. The association between poor sanitation and chronic diarrhoea in young children continues to affect the poor and unserved (as in the Nepal terai districts) and improving sanitation and hygiene practice will really make a difference in health and education outcomes. Over 500 sector professionals from South Asia and beyond are attending. Below an impression of a side event, with Lajana Manandhar attending. 

Lajana at SACOSAN VI

Several members of the Nepal SACOSAN team standing in front of the Nepal booth at the exhibition area. Nepal has made a good impression so far, with the Nepal SACOSAN VI country report being appreciated (download here).

 

 

Nepal stand

Infographic - Access to sanitation in Nepal´s community schools

Infographic - Access to sanitation in Nepal´s community schools created by Open Nepal, published on Republica daily on 2015-01-03 

Infographic access to sanitation in community schools

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