The Final Debrief Workshop on ‘Multi-Country Twinning Program: FSM Knowledge Sharing’ was held on March 27, 2019 at ITN-BUET. Around 20 participants from Nepal and Bangladesh discussed how to imply lessons learned in their respective countries, how the twinning program benefitted recent progress in the FSM systems, major upcoming challenges to FSM systems, and how to follow up and support twinning program participants in future. The workshop was organized by Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) and Stantec with the support of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and ITN-BUET.
Participants shared experiences and lessons learned from the visits in FSM sites in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. The overall effectiveness of the twinning program was widely appreciated by all the participants. The host organizations at the host countries facilitated the visits and meetings with different government and other stakeholders. The participants observed different FSM systems along with the best practices. They discussed with stakeholders on issues regarding national and local level policy guidelines, public awareness, adequately trained manpower, proper design of septic tank, accessibility of septic tank and desludging techniques, systems and compliance etc. The participants compared the host countries FSM system with home countries and shared what kind of similarities or difference exists in managing fecal sludge. They also shared how they plan to utilize good practices in their respective countries and how to engage relevant stakeholders.
In the group work, Bangladesh and Nepal exercised on future challenges for successful FSM programs in each country and how to overcome these challenges. The participants suggested to provide specific support with projects to develop models for fecal sludge management. The Bangladeshi group suggested that taxes for FSM services are essential and could be included with water tariff for sustainability. Currently, most of the FSM services are dependent on development projects supported by the government, development partners/banks and I/NGOs. The participants suggested to establish network in each country for knowledge and information sharing on FSM and CWIS. Participants from DPHE informed that DPHE in Bangladesh has developed a FSM Support Cell in order to support FSM projects throughout the country with specific expertise with FSM.
Participants hoped that the resource pool created through the twinning program would continue and they will have opportunity to work together to ensure safe sanitation in their countries.
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