Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) has evolved as a modern technology to cope with the increasing water demand in urban and rural areas. As a cost-effective and practical solution, it helps to conserve water and promotes sustainability. Industries, especially the RMG sector, are enthusiastic about using the technology to meet international buyers’ compliance requirements and maintain factory standards. In order to sensitize and capacitate practitioners, planners, academicians, industrialists, students, researchers, and policymakers, ITN-BUET and WaterAid Bangladesh organized an international residential training and exposure visit on ‘Rainwater Harvesting System’ during September 26-29, 2021, at Gazipur, Dhaka.
The training focused on the importance, principles and components of RWH, planning and designing of RWH system, cost-benefit analysis and re-use of rainwater in industrial settings. Prof. Dr. Tanvir Ahmed, Director, ITN-BUET; Dr. Kazi Matin Ahmed, Professor, Department of Geology, University of Dhaka; Mr. Md. Tahmidul Islam, Technical Advisor, WaterAid Bangladesh; Mr. Md. Ashraful Alam, Principal Architect, Idyllic Design; Mr. Marc Sylvestre, Director, International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance; Ms. Nowrin Mow, Programme Officer, WaterAid Bangladesh and Mr. Fahim Istiaque, Programme Officer, WaterAid Bangladesh, facilitated interactively designed sessions of the course. The program included a field visit to Next Accessories Ltd., a LEED-certified apparel factory in Narayanganj, to see the application of RWH in the industry context.
The participants were awarded certificates during the closing ceremony held at ITN-BUET on September 29, 2021. Prof. Dr. Satya Prasad Majumder, Honorable Vice-Chancellor, BUET, was the Chief Guest of the event. Dr. Majumder said that rainwater harvesting is a crucial technology for the growing industries in Bangladesh. He underscored the importance of sharing the learnings by the participants for expanding the knowledge and the betterment of the country. Special Guest Prof. Dr. Abdul Jabbar Khan, Honorable Pro-Vice-Chancellor, BUET, said that the rainwater harvesting technology is suitable in the context of Bangladesh. It is high time a policy brief is developed to sensitize the policy makers and government entities to enforce the BNBC guideline and mainstream the technology in infrastructural planning, design, and implementation. Dr. Khan also emphasized revising the existing curriculum considering the benefit and advancement of RWH. Ms. Hasin Jahan, Country Director, WaterAid Bangladesh, appreciated the enthusiasm of the participants throughout the training. She asserted that WaterAid Bangladesh envisions to continue this venture in the coming years. Prof. Dr. Tanvir Ahmed, Director, ITN-BUET, said that rainwater harvesting is closely linked to several SDG goals, and its importance is well-understood now in both in the public and private sector. He added that due attention should be given to the operation and maintenance in addition to developing infrastructures for the RWH system. He thanked WaterAid Bangladesh for their support in organizing this program and hoped to continue this collaboration in the future.
A total of 25 participants, including representatives from academia, research institutes, LGIs, NGOs, consulting firms, and industries, participated in the training event. They highly appreciated the training program, which included learnings from actual field applications. They committed to disseminate the learnings from the training and apply the knowledge in their respective fields.