WaterAid officially launch ‘Bangladesh Country Programme Strategy 2023-28’

Guests at the launching ceremony of WaterAid Bangladesh's 'Country Programme Strategy (CPS) 2023-28' in Dhaka on 9 August, 2023.

WaterAid Bangladesh has offiicially unveiled their five-year Country Programme Strategy (CPS) 2023-28 to improve access to climate-resilient and inclusive Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) of the vulnerable communities in Bangladesh.

The launching ceremony took place on 9 August, 2023, at the Hotel in Dhaka. The ceremony was attended by Swedish ambassador to Bangladesh Alexandra Berg von Linde, joint secretary of the local government division Emdadul Hoq Chowdhury, water and climate change expert as well as professor emeritus at BRAC University Ainun Nishat, regional director of WaterAid in South Asia Khairul Islam and country director of WaterAid in Bangladesh Hasin Jahan along with representatives from different government agencies, development partners, international or multilateral agencies, civil society organisations, private sector organisations and media representatives.

Bangladesh has made impressive strides to improve access to WASH services over the past few decades. However, the country still has a long way to go as a significant percentage of the population has to be brought under safely managed WASH services to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) six. Being the seventh most climate vulnerable country in the globe, the progress of WASH is now threatened by the climate change impacts.

Hence, throughout the next five years, WaterAid aims to bring contextualised and resilient WASH technologies and approaches while strengthening the links between citizens and key decision-makers. WaterAid remains open to collaborate with WASH sector actors, development partners, service providers including private sector, to achieve climate resilient and universal WASH access in Bangladesh.

Alexander Berg von Linde congratualed WaterAid Bangladesh, saying, “We have been working with WaterAid for the past few years to ensure safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for low-income communities. WaterAid's role in providing accessible and sustainable WASH services for all is truly commendable”.

She also invited WaterAid to share their work experience with others in order to ensure long-term and sustainable services for the low-income people of the society.”

Guests at the launching ceremony of WaterAid Bangladesh's 'Country Programme Strategy (CPS) 2023-28' in Dhaka on 9 August, 2023.

Emdadul Hoq Chowdhury appreciated the active role of WaterAid in formulating, revising and updating the important policies and strategies related to the WASH sector and urged to contribute to the development of the sector by continuing to cooperate with the Local Government and other concerned entities in the future.

He said, “As a partner to the government, WaterAid Bangladesh is not only helping to make or amend policies to ensure safe water, sanitation and hygiene facilities (WASH), but also assisting in the implementation of these policies at ground levels”.

Ainun Nishat said, “In order to ensure sustainability of safe water, sanitation and hygiene facilities (WASH), emphasis should be placed on infrastructural development as well as its management systems. The risk of climate change should be kept in mind in this case. Because with climate change, the availability of water will decrease on the one hand and the demand for water will increase on the other hand”.

He called upon all concerned entities including WaterAid to craft appropriate plans to face such forthcoming situations.

The programme concluded with the speech of Khairul Islam where he said, “The overall WASH situation in Bangladesh is better than that of its neighboring countries in South Asia. But Bangladesh is still lagging behind in ensuring access to safely managed sanitation systems and improved water supply to all through pipe lines. To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, the country must take initiatives involving the public and private sectors”.

He emphasised on the development of relevant and sustainable WASH technologies and approaches, and urged everyone to cooperate for successful implementation of WaterAid Bangladesh's new Country Program Strategy.

In her welcome speech at the beginning of the event Hasin Jahan said, “In addition to ensuring climate-resilient safe water, sanitation and hygiene services for all, one of our future goals in this regard is to achieve the universal goals of the SDGs.”

Later, the five year 'Country Program Strategy 2023-2028' was presented by WaterAid's director for programme and policy advocacy Partha Hefaz Shaikh.

Field champions (users of improved WASH services and young community volunteers) from Satkhira, Sreemangal, Tangail, and Dhaka shared their experiences with the audience during the event.