The report said though only eight years are left for the implementation of SDGs, progress on WASH-related targets have become a great concern. According to the national priority index, as of 2021 only 59 per cent of population has access to safe drinking water against a target of 100 per cent.

Hossain Zillur Rahman said, “We are now in the post-MDG era – the SDG. There are some qualitative differences in the type of SDG target. MDG set a target on access to water only while SDG targets access to safe water. Access to water does not mean safe only. Some 98 per cent of populations have access to water but as of 2021, 39 per cent of people have access to safe water. Extra programmes and attention are necessary on safe water.”

The report said progress on sanitation subsector is also a matter of concern. Bangladesh earned praise for ending open defecation in South Asia during the MDG. The national priority index sets a target of 100 per cent safe sanitation but only 39 per cent of population has access to it as of 2021 with 42 per cent and 34 per cent in village and respectively.

Regarding this, Hossain Zillur Rahman said Bangladesh also displayed success in sanitation as many countries are yet to end open defecation. But that was the target of MDG. The SDG added additional target and that was safely managed sanitation, which is still in a dire state as its progress is 39 per cent.

The report further said progress on health rules or other basic indicators of hygiene is only 58 per cent and national progress on ‘soap or without water’ indicator only 36 per cent and Bangladesh ranks second last in South Asia.

The rate of progress says Bangladesh still has to miles to go to achieve the SDG target in water, safe sanitation and hygiene.

Analysis shows 5.44 per cent or Tk 145.17 billion (14,517 crore) was allocated for WASH sector in the ADP (Tk 2,667.93 billion or 266,793 crore) in 2012-22 fiscal. Allocation in WASH sector decreased significantly for remote areas in 2021-22 fiscal – a 72 per cent fall 2016-17 fiscal.

Analysis also highlighted geographical discrimination in the allocation for WASH sector with urban areas receiving highest percentage of funding comparing to remote, char, hill and coastal areas. Yet, underdeveloped areas have more need than urban areas. So, the necessity of marginal areas should be taken into consideration in the upcoming budget, speakers said.

WaterAid Bangladesh, Power and Participation Research Center (PPRC), UNICEF Bangladesh, Freshwater Action Network South Asia, Bangladesh (FANSA-BD), FSM Network, Bangladesh Water Integrity Network (BAWIN), Sanitation and Water for All, and Water Poverty, MHM Platform, UNICEF and WASH Alliance International jointly organised the press conference.

Read more from Bangladesh
Post Comment