Fecal sludge management has been identified as one of the most crucial challenges for ensuring safe sanitation in Bangladesh. The government is committed to reach the SDG 6.2 sanitation target by 2030. Without achieving safely managed sanitation this goal will not be achieved. In response to the government’s commitment, ITN-BUET in collaboration with DPHE is working to build the capacity of the DPHE and Paurashava officials to increase awareness and knowledge on City-Wide Inclusive Sanitation and Fecal Sludge Management. As a part of this initiative, a 4-day-long specialized training course on Fecal Sludge Management: An Element of City-Wide Inclusive Sanitation has been organized by ITN-BUET in collaboration with the Department of Civil Engineering of Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology and DPHE from 5 to 8 January 2020.

On 5 January 2020, the training was launched at the Resource Centre of CUET at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh, Chittagong Centre. Prof. Dr. Sudip Kumar Pal, Head of the Civil Engineering Department, CUET inaugurated the training program.  In his speech, Dr. Pal agreed that safely managed sanitation is a challenge for large cities but he is hopeful that if all stakeholders work together, we will be able to face the challenge. Currently his department is working with Chittagong WASA for prioritizing safe sanitation in different projects. He hoped that the current collaboration with ITN-BUET and DPHE will continue and the networking among stakeholders will make us able to achieve sanitation SDG targets by 2030. Dr. Asiful Hoque, Professor of Civil Engineering Department, CUET and one of distinguish facilitator of the course stated that CUET will be supporting the Paurashavas beyond this training program to make fecal sludge management successful in their respective cities. Mr. Alauddin Ahmed, Project Manager of ITN-BUET shared the overall objective of the training and welcomed the participants. He ensured that ITN-BUET will continue its support to make sanitation a priority for all and enhance collaboration to establish CUET as a regional hub for capacity building on FSM. Mr. Imtiaz Sharif, Training Specialist, ITN-BUET facilitated the inaugural ceremony.

The training event aimed to build capacity for the Paurashava and DPHE officials for implementing FSM in urban areas of Bangladesh. The major objectives of this training program is to share details on different components of FSM and CWIS, organize exposure visit to existing FSM cases to understand the opportunities and challenges in the sector, enable the Paurashava and DPHE officials to prepare an ‘FSM Action Plan’ for concerned Paurashavas and identify other capacity building needs.

Experts from ITN-BUET and CUET conducted the training. Officials and engineers from Mirsharai, Satkania, Dagonbhuiyan and Sonagazi Paurashavas and relevant DPHE Engineers and CUET faculty members participated in this course.

The training closed on 8 January, 2020. Hon’ble Mayors of Satkania and Sonagazi were present as special guests in the closing ceremony. They expressed their interest and commitment for establishing FSM in their respective Paurashava. Dr. Paul thanked the participants for their spontaneous participation in the training. Mr. Ahmed expressed his gratitude to Civil Engineering Department, CUET for their support in successfully organizing the training. Few representatives from the training participants gave their overall feedback about the training. They also conveyed suggestions to further improve the training.

The training ended with certificate distribution to the participants.

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