Strengthening the stakeholders with appropriate knowledge and training would be a great challenge for achieving citywide inclusive sanitation. It is high time for the designated and capable organizations to join hands for effective capacity building and knowledge dissemination. To foster the regional capacity building agenda on CWIS and FSM, ITN-BUET, in collaboration with ENPHO from Nepal and Technical Assistance Hub (TA-Hub), South Asia, aims to be the Capacity Building Hub for selected countries in South and Southeast Asia. The key partners met on December 11, 2021, at ITN-BUET to discuss the strategies for successfully achieving the targets of the CB Hub, with a special focus on Bangladesh and Nepal.

Representatives from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ITN-BUET, ENPHO, Kathmandu University, Innovative Solution Ltd. and TA-Hub attended the event. Ms. Melissa Burgess from the Gates Foundation, Mr. Alauddin Ahmed, Ms. Makfie Farah, Mr. Mohammad Imtiaz Sharif and Mr. Md. Azizur Rahman from ITN-BUET, Ms. Rosy Singh from ENPHO and Mr. Shailess Sreshtha from Innovative Solution Ltd. presented on specific agenda in the meeting. The members discussed the challenges and identified potential strategies and required stakeholders for achieving each outcome.

Dr. Roshan Raj Shreshtha, Deputy Director, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, underlined the need to utilize regional and local professionals, carry out proper gap analysis, and conduct action research to develop a contextualized CWIS module. In his opinion, representatives from academia, government agencies, I/NGOs, decision-makers, city officials, private sector, entrepreneurs, and workers can be potential resource persons for different courses and target groups. “Addressing the poor and marginalized people should be prioritized for achieving CWIS”-Dr. Roshan commented. Ms. Bhawana Sharma, Executive Director, ENPHO, said that the long partnership would foster opportunities for evidence-based learning in both countries.

During his speech, Professor Dr. Tanvir Ahmed, Director, ITN-BUET, emphasized the opportunity and scope for carrying out technical and non-technical research under the umbrella of ITN-BUET. He added that the FSM Laboratory developed at the Department of Civil Engineering, BUET, can be utilized by potential researchers from all corners of the country. Dr. Tanvir highlighted the need for proper policy directives to succeed as the CB Hub.

Launching Ceremony of Citywide Inclusive Sanitation Scaling and Sanitation Innovation

The participants visited the FSM Laboratory at BUET to enrich their understanding of the facilities. ENPHO also expressed their plan to establish a reference laboratory in Nepal utilizing the learnings from the visit.

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