United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Bangladesh

Intervention by Mr. Abdul Alim, representative of Bangladesh at an
interactive discussion on Access to Sanitation on 12 April 2005.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.
I deeply appreciate you Mr. Chairman for the manner in which you are
steering the session. My delegation would also like to thank the
distinguished panelists for their informative and thought provoking
presentations.
WSSD and Millennium Declaration illustrated the time-bound target for
sanitation. It is defined to be the safe management of human excreta
and includes both hardware (sanitation technologies such as toilets and
hygienic latrines) and software (hygine promotion, such as hand wash
with soap) components. The government of Bangladesh has adopted
pragmatic policies targeting both the components. Off-site sanitation
which relates to sewerage system requires huge investment . Its
development requires donor support in the forms of finance and
technology.
Water, sanitation and hygiene issues are inseparably linked. In
Bangladesh, as my delegation spelled out in the morning session, lean
flow of water in international courses during dry session results in dearth of
both surface and sub-surface water. Arsenic contamination in the ground
water, which has affected 40 million people is another serious threat.
These have exponentially increased our challenges. We hope that these
issues would find room in your text .
Sharing experiences and best practices among the comparative milluie
as well as transfer of technology could be some of the options for
progress. These require both networks for information exchange and
skilled technicians to design and market the locally adaptable and lowcost
sanitation solutions.
Mr. Chairman,
Awareness building, especially among the rural poor is critically important.
The government of Bangladesh and UNICEF, supported by different
donors, have initiated a comprehensive programme called ?Hygiene
awareness and product information campaign? in Bangladesh. A
communication initiative named ?Meena? has played a remarkable role
in awareness building for healthcare, gender parity and child rights in
Bangladesh. A recent report shows that 85% of our children are aware of
the Meena story.
NGO and private sector have also important roles to this effect.
Microcredit could be a highly effective tool in terms of capacity building,
awareness raising and empowerment as well as integrating the poor
especially women into the mainstream of the economy. Most importantly,
microcredit can make sanitation facilities affordable to the poor.
The target of WSSD and MDGs for sanitation is ambitious and realistic but
not easy to achieve. It warrants consolidated political commitment and
wills supported by significant financial, technical and human resources.
Global community, in the spirit of partnership, made number of
commitments in terms of ODA, FDI, market access and debt cancellation
for developing countries, particularly the LDCs. These must be honourd.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.
Stakeholders