Working Committee Meeting for formulating Institutional and Regulatory Framework for Fecal Sludge Management

The third meeting of the Working Committee (WC) formed by the Local Government Division of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development & Cooperatives (LGD-MoLGRD&C) for formulating Institutional and Regulatory Framework for Fecal Sludge Management (FSM) was held on 24 August 2015 at 10:00 a.m.  at the Seminar Room of ITN-BUET. Mr. Md. Akram Al-Hossain, Additional Secretary and Wing Chief (WS), LGD-MoLGRD&C, and Chairperson of the WC chaired the meeting. Mr. Kazi Abdul Noor, Additional Secretary and PD, PSU and Professor Dr. Md. MujiburRahman, both co-chairs of the WC, were also present at the meeting.

Dr. Muhammad Ashraf Ali, Director, ITN-BUET & Professor of Civil Engineering, BUET and Member-Secretary of the WC welcomed all on behalf of ITN-BUET. Mr. Kazi Abdul Noor then explained the importance of FSM framework for protecting the public health and environment. He said that it is a timely decision to formulate FSM framework for protection of public health and environment. He also expressed his hope to complete the FSM framework draft within the sanitation month of October.

Presentation by Prof. Dr. Md. MujiburRahman

Professor Dr. Md. MujiburRahman provided an overview of activities carried out since the second meeting of the Working Committee (held on March 21, 2015), including the first national consultation on FSM, which was held on December 23, 2014 and a stakeholders’ consultation held on March 21, 2015. He also presented the progress made towards drafting of FSM framework and also the status of field consultations. He reported that a total of 22 field consultations, 11 in urban areas and 11 in rural areas, have been completed. Dr. Rahman thanked all the organizations that facilitated the field consultations for their enthusiasm and support for completion of field consultation. It was also proposed that letter of thanks should be issued by the PSU to the respective local government organizations (LGIs) who whole-heartedly supported the field consultations.

Later, Dr. Rahman presented the structure/content of FSM Framework, which included context, objectives and scope, participating institutions, and distribution of institutional roles/responsibilities. The section under “distribution of institutional roles and responsibility” would have sub sections on overview of laws, regulations, policies and guidelines, institutional arrangements for FSM service chain, capacity building, research and training, awareness building, technical assistance and funding support.

Discussions were held among the participating institutions and their responsibilities to implement the FSM service chain in both urban and rural areas. The list of participating institutions was finalized in the meeting. Discussions were also held on formation of sub-committees for drafting of FSM Framework for different settings. After detail discussion, sub-committees for drafting FSM framework were decided as follows:

Rural FSM : BRAC, VERC, NGOF, Plan Bangladesh,
Dhaka City FSM : PSU, ITN, DevCon, DSK, WSP, World Bank, WSUP
Large City FSM : SNV, WASH alliance, Waste Concern, DPHE
Pourashava Town FSM : LGED, DPHE, Practical Action Bangladesh, WaterAid Bangladesh

Discussion Session

ITN-BUET will provide a guideline for drafting of FSM framework and coordinate activities of all drafting sub-committees. It was decided that the drafts would be shared with all working committee (WC) members before finalizing it for presentation in a national consultation so that they can provide suggestions. Efforts will be made to complete draft FSM framework by October 2015, which will then be placed in the National Sanitation Taskforce/WSS National Forum for discussion and approval.