When I visit communities for the BRAC Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme, I am met with examples of both good and bad practices. One can draw inspiration from the many success stories while also taking into account the many obstacles that some families have to continually deal with.
The BRAC Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme in Bangladesh is planning to convert faecal matter from pit latrines into commercially viable fertiliser, biogas and electricity. The aim is to complete the sanitation chain by making material from millions of pit latrines safe and economically productive. Babar Kabir, senior director of the BRAC WASH programme, says that there is a sound business case for investment in bio-energy units that could generate electricity on a large scale.
The 2011 Lancet series says that about 2.6 billion people lack access to proper toilet facilities and about 980 million young people under 18 live in homes without basic sanitation. Moreover, research has shown that unimproved hygiene, inadequate sanitation, and insufficient and unsafe drinking water account for about seven per cent of the total disease burden and 19 per cent of child mortality worldwide.
I would like to share the peculiar sanitation situation in Boroitoli, a hilly village in an extremely hard-to-reach area of Fatikchari sub-district of Chittagong, Bangladesh. We visited this village earlier this year to observe the existing conditions of water, sanitation and hygiene.
One of the core strategies of the BRAC Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Programme in Bangladesh is to put special emphasis on involving rural women in decision-making processes, alongside efforts to improve menstrual hygiene and access to water and sanitation.
This article was posted on irc.nl by Ingeborg Krukkert, programme officer sanitation and hygiene for the Asia Regional Programme at IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre and working with BRAC WASH on hygiene promotion.
During my 12 years of work experience in the water and sanitation sector, it has been evident that gender inequality and poverty exclude large numbers of people from enjoying the benefits of water supply and sanitation facilities and processes aimed at their improvement. There is a traditional concept that mainstreaming gender in water is a matter of women, and only women speak about the issue, whereas the policy makers are mostly men.
Since 1972, BRAC has been working with the objectives of poverty alleviation and empowering the poor with a holistic approach. As a top world organization, it has made notable contributions into multi-dimensional sectors on human development activities. In order to achieve the MDGs of reducing child mortality and halving the number of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015 (goals 4 and 7), BRAC has been implementing the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Programme since 2006 in 150 Upazilas (sub-districts) of Bangladesh.
This is the very first blog in my life. Since many younger colleagues are blogging away, I have been inspired to give it a try. The subject I'd like to bring up is gender mainstreaming in the setup of the Qualitative Information System used for monitoring.
It can seem so easy. Give a slum-dweller a three-wheeled vehicle. She creates a mobile tea business. Income increases from 100 Bangladeshi taka to 400 taka per day. She leaves her backbreaking job as a brick-maker, quadruples her income, preserves her health, restores her dignity. Rinse, repeat.