Ensuring access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) is essential for positive outcomes in health, nutrition, education, and livelihoods. Enhancing WASH accessibility is pivotal in elevating the income levels of urban low-income communities.

In collaboration with the International Training Network of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (ITN-BUET), the Department of Civil Engineering at Chittagong University of Engineering & Technology (CUET) conducted a training session on 11 and 12 October 2023.

The objective of the training was to enhance the understanding of sanitation services and Fecal Sludge Management (FSM) systems among civil engineering students, with a specific focus on their application in urban areas with low-income communities. A total of 28 students participated in the two-day training program, ‘Sanitation for Urban Low-Income Communities,’ which included 20 female students from CUET and the Asian University for Women (AUW).

Speaking as the chief guest, Professor Dr. Mohammad Rafiqul Alam, the Vice-Chancellor of CUET, said, “While training is important for personal development, it is equally vital to put what you have learned into practice.” He also mentioned the commitment to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 6, and stressed the need for collaboration to make it happen.

Professor Dr. Sudip Kumar Pal, the Dean of the Faculty of Civil Engineering, emphasized the importance of sanitation knowledge for society. He reminded the students that they are the nation’s future leaders and encouraged them to take on the role of leaders who inspire positive change.

Professor Dr. Asiful Hoque, the training program’s coordinator, commended the trainers’ and facilitators’ expertise and passion in empowering communities in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene. Dr. Hoque also thanked all participants, recognizing their active involvement and thoughtful questions as the driving force behind the success of this initiative.

Mr. Subrata Paul, Training Specialist from ITN-BUET, expressed his heartfelt appreciation to the trainers, experts, and participants for their dedicated efforts, which were instrumental in the training’s success. He highlighted the mission and responsibilities of ITN-BUET. He encouraged all participants and esteemed guests to explore the ITN-BUET website and Facebook page for further information and updates on their activities.

Mr. Abdul Baset Bhuiyan, a CUET student, said, “This training provides valuable insights into sanitation for urban low-income communities.” He suggested involving professionals from various departments in the training to enhance practical understanding and exposure to real-life situations.

Ms. Zerin Subha, a student from AUW, shared her thoughts, saying, “This training is both exciting and beneficial, and it would be even more engaging if we could arrange a visit to a low-income community to witness the current conditions.”

This training covered the concept of community engagement within the WASH sector, WASH in the context of urban low-income communities, challenges faced by low-income urban communities in accessing WASH facilities, water and hygiene relationships, FSM plant, FSM in emergencies, fecal sludge reuse and treatment process, and sanitation service management model for urban poor.

The training covered essential areas, including community engagement in WASH, WASH in urban low-income communities, key challenges, water and hygiene relationships, FSM plant operations, FSM in emergencies, fecal sludge treatment and reuse process, and sanitation service management model for urban low-income communities.

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