With the motto of engaging private sector for promoting sustainable FSM system, Bangladesh FSM Network organized the Fourth FSM Convention and Fourth Emptiers Convention during February 5-6, 2020 at the Institute of Architects Bangladesh (IAB) Auditorium, Dhaka. The FSM Convention focused on sectoral collaboration, technical advancement, institutional and regulatory mechanism, financial challenges and promotion of treated sludge. The Chief Guest of FSM Convention was Md. Zahirul Islam, Additional Secretary, LGD, Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development & Co-operatives (MoLGRD&C). Mr. Islam emphasized on the importance of addressing Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) along with Solid Waste Management (SWM) to reach SDG sanitation goal by 2030.

During the event, the participants, around 250 personnel from different organizations, identified that engaging the private sector in the FSM value chain will make the system self-reliant and less dependent on government support for sustainability which will ultimately benefit in achieving SDG 6.2. The FSM Convention is the annual event of the FSM Network to bring together sanitation actors and beyond in the same platform to learn from each other and influence stakeholders for promoting safe management of fecal sludge. ITN-BUET is one of the founding members of the Network and co-organizer of the event.

The concluding Session was chaired by Kazi Ashraf Uddin, Additional Secretary, Policy Support Branch, LGD. Special Guests were Hazi Abdul Goni, Mayor of Savar municipality and President of Municipal Association of Bangladesh (MAB), Mr Jason Belanger, Country Director of SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and Syed Hasinur Rahman, Managing Director of Bangladesh Municipal Development Fund (BMDF). All the distinguished guests highlighted the importance of sectoral collaboration within and beyond the WASH sector and put special attention on engaging private agencies for collection, transportation, treatment and re-use of treated sludge. They also said, regulation and systemic monitoring are essential for sustainable FSM in the country.

The Emptiers Convention on the next day focused on the importance of providing life & Health Insurance for the Emptiers. The speakers emphasized on the importance of PPE training for the Emptiers, ensuring formal and permanent employment and providing Health care for the Emptiers. Different Health Insurance Packages by Insurance Companies were proposed and discussed. This event worked as a bridging event between the pit emptiers and the sector actors where more than 100 Pit Emptiers from different regions of the country gathered together and shared their thoughts regarding their profession.

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