ITN-BUET conducted an action research on “Assessment of Performance of FSM Services in Selected Paurashavas” and disseminated the study findings through an online technical session on 23 December 2020 engaging sector experts and practitioners. The primary focus of the study was to assess the overall performance of FSM services in Faridpur, Lakhimpur and Shakhipur Paurashavas (municipalities) where the service has been operational for a few years. The findings could potentially help develop evidence-based guiding documents to address the challenges of implementing effective FSM service.

ITN-BUET’s consultant, Mr. Maharam Dakua, presented the findings to more than 60 audiences from different government organizations, LGI representatives, academicians, I/NGOs and relevant stakeholders. The study highlighted the need for awareness programs, the lack of following proper construction guidelines and proper utilization of containment systems, and underutilization of FSTPs due to insufficient sludge supply. He emphasized that the Mayors of all three the Paurashavas are motivated to take FSM forward.

Dr. M Ashraf Ali, Professor, Department. of Civil Engineering, BUET chaired the panel and open discussion sessions. Sanitation expert Prof. Dr. Md. Mujibur Rahman, Prof Dr. Rowshan Mamtaz of the Department of Civil Engineering BUET and DPHE Superintending Engineer and Co-Chair of CWIS-FSM Support Cell Mr. Shafiqul Hassan were present as the panelists.

Mr. Shafiqul Hassan urged to focus on improving the containment system and achieving financial viability for a complete solution of the system. Dr. Rowshan Mamtaz emphasized proper septic tank design, profitable end-use option, conducting research on co-compost produced from sludge, and popularizing the compost to farmers to make the FSM system sustainable. In his speech, Dr. Mujibur Rahman advised setting a benchmark along the whole service chain to delineate any system as safely managed. He added that we need to identify the gaps and challenges and find out the solutions regarding those.

ITN-BUET Director Prof. Dr. Tanvir Ahmed expected that the study findings will help minimize the existing gaps and implement effective FSM services in other paurashavas. Mr. Sheikh Mahtab Ali Methu, Mayor of Faridpur Paurashava, encouraged the interested paurashavas to establish their own FSM system by taking learnings from this study.

Participants appreciated the comprehensive research work even amidst the COVID situation. The speakers suggested to include issues like co-composting, standardization of FSM system, integrated waste management system, improved organogram and dedicated cell for FSM in paurashavas, greater women participation as future activities and research areas for the sector actors. The session came to an end with the vote of thanks from Mr. Alauddin Ahmed, Project Manager, ITN-BUET. Ms. Makfie Farah, Knowledge Management Specialist of BMGF-funded capacity building project of ITN-BUET, moderated the session.

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