Of late, people scarcely meet physically to avoid Covid-19 spread, but their coherence level is now greater than ever. Utilizing the benefits of the online communication system the ITN-BUET team recently met 12 academicians from seven technical universities (KUET, CUET, RUET, SUST, DUET, BAU, and BUET) to strengthen the existing network and to encourage intellectual collaboration in the WASH sector and beyond.

The meeting held on 18th August 2020 underscored the importance of academicians working together on WASH and any other urgent issues like the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact to develop critical understanding and cognitive actions. Reviving previous links such as training centers at different universities, collaborative research, policy advocacy, and capacity building across the sector were the major discussion points.

Adapting the “new normal” together with the WASH academician

The participants agreed about bringing young academicians and professionals eager to contribute to the sector to blend experience and enthusiasm. They underlined that as the nation’s leading technical universities, these institutions have a unique position to bridge policy-maker and practitioners with academicians to transform theoretical knowledge into real-world actions nationally and globally.

An interesting discussion was held on the well-known book, Water Supply and Sanitation for Rural and Low Income Urban Communities, by Prof. Dr. M. Feroze Ahmed and Prof. Dr. Md. Mujibur Rahman. Its relevance even after more than 20 years is unparalleled. Participants urged to update the book considering new needs.

Most of the meeting participants were well-acquainted with each other and previously worked together in different projects and programs that brought a nostalgic vibe in the discussion. They felt the urge to renew the relations.

Participants unanimously agreed to follow to ITN-BUET’s lead for outlining the pathway of collaboration. Dr. Tanvir Ahmed, the Director of ITN-BUET committed to continuing the endeavor with support from the academicians.

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