Sanitation and waste workers, who play a vital role in maintaining cleanliness of a city, face a significant knowledge gap in health, safety, and hygiene, impacting their well-being and dignity. To address this, International Training Network (ITN) of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) conducted two comprehensive two-day international Training of Trainers (ToT) in the Nepalgunj Sub-Metropolitan City and Bharatpur Metropolitan city of Nepal from 05 to 06 July and from 10 to 11 July respectively. Asian Development Bank (ADB) assigned ITN-BUET to develop the comprehensive training course. The primary objective of the training was to equip city officials, professionals, and activists with essential knowledge on ‘Health, Safety, Hygiene, and Infection Prevention & Control (HSH-IPC)’ to ensure health and wellbeing of sanitation and waste workers.

Mayor of the Nepalgunj Sub-Metropolitan city Mr. Prashanta Bista, the chief guest at the Nepalgunj training inauguration, commended ITN-BUET for implementing the programme. He highlighted challenges with sanitary landfill sites and expressed a desire to improve their operational efficiency. The Mayor also emphasized their ongoing efforts in waste segregation and shared plans for a future faecal sludge treatment plant in Nepalgunj. His visionary remarks inspired participants, reinforcing the programme’s importance and contributing to a cleaner and more sustainable city.

Head of Environment and Disaster Management Division of Bharatpur Metropolitan city Mr. Birat Ghimire, the chief guest at the Bharatpur training inauguration, warmly applauded ITN-BUET for successfully implementing the program. Recognizing the complex challenges faced in waste management, he wholeheartedly called upon the participants to prioritize the welfare of sanitation and waste workers. Mr. Ghimire encouraged participants to work together to bring positive changes in the society.

Executive Director of Integrated Development Society Nepal (IDS-Nepal) and the special guest of the programs Mr. Prakash Koirala also praised ITN-BUET for developing the course. During the training, he advocated for budget allocation in sanitation promotion, emphasizing that development goes beyond infrastructure. Recognizing the value of international practices, he urged participants to implement the training knowledge seriously. Mr. Koirala highlighted policy formulation and effective implementation within resource limitations. His inspiring remarks motivated participants to drive positive change and prioritize sustainable development in the sanitation sector.

Project Manager of ITN-BUET and the team leaders of the assignment Mr. Alauddin Ahmed highlighted the importance of training materials tailored for sanitation and waste workers. He emphasized the goal of bringing positive changes to their lives through raising awareness about Health, Safety, Hygiene, and Infection Prevention. Mr. Ahmed encouraged active participation and practical application of the acquired knowledge. He also expressed gratitude to the participants, Nepalgunj Sub-Metropolitan City, Bharatpur Metropolitan City, and IDS Nepal/NEFEJ, and ADB for their invaluable support in making the training a success.

A participant of the Nepalgunj training, Ms. Suman Giri emphasized the practical relevance of the learnings from the training in their regular task of keeping the city clean. With enthusiasm, she requested the municipality to leverage their team’s expertise to actively contribute to maintaining cleanliness. She also expressed her desire to apply the knowledge gained from the training to make a tangible difference in their work.

Mr. Udyog Kumar Piya, a participant of the Bharatpur training, shared his thoughts on the session, emphasizing that the subject of sanitation is as valuable as a diamond and that the training has helped shape that diamond into a perfectly designed ring. He expressed commitment from all participants to work for the welfare of sanitation and waste workers in the future.

The Training of Trainers empower sanitation and waste workers in disease prevention, hygiene, protective equipment use, and sewage management. It bridges knowledge gaps, ensuring their dignity and well-being in essential roles. A total of 25 participants from Nepalgunj and 26 participants from Bharatpur actively participated in these courses. Along with others, Training Specialist of ITN-BUET Mohammad Imtiaz Sharif facilitated the ToT and encouraged participants to apply their knowledge in their regular activates. He also suggested to use collaborative approach to improve the training for the future. During the training, all the guests and dignitaries stressed the need to change perceptions towards sanitation and waste workers. They also expressed their gratitude to ITN-BUET for designing and conducting such a useful training.

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