Thu, Apr 26th, 2012 3:15 pm BdST
Dhaka, Apr 25 (bdnews24.com) – The Bangladesh office of WaterAid has welcomed the government’s pledges to allow an additional 21 million people access to adequate sanitation and 12 million to an improved water source by 2015.
The Local Government Division secretary Abu Alam Md Shahid Khan made the commitment at a ministerial meeting on Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) in Washington on Apr 20.
Dr Md Khairul Islam, WaterAid country representative in Bangladesh, in a media release said: “These are crucial commitments made by the government to meet the Millennium Development Goal on both water and sanitation by 2015.”
“The lives of thousands of children under the age of five could be saved and malnutrition amongst children can be averted if the government makes good on these pledges.
“WaterAid will continue supporting the ministries over the next three years to push the government to honour its words with actions,” he added.
Bangladesh was one of the over 50 governments represented at the Sanitation and Water of All Sector Ministers Meeting on Apr 19-20.
The Bangladesh Statement of Commitments tabled at the meeting includes increased allocation for sanitation and water supply in the development budget by 50 percent; creation of specific budget heads for water, sanitation and hygiene.
The pledges also include implementing a special project on sanitation in 2013 to address the needs of geographically difficult areas and the most marginalised groups in rural areas and urban slums, and taking measures to approve the Arsenic Implementation Plan for the water sector.
According to Joint Monitoring Programme of WHO and Unicef, 81 percent people have improved water sources in Bangladesh while 56 percent have normal latrines, 25 percent share latrines and 4 percent still defecate in open spaces.