South Asia Water Programme Partners and Practitioners Meeting in Delhi on December 30, 2013

The centre organized the CSE South Asia Water Programme Partners and Practitioners Meeting on December 30, 2013 in Delhi at the Maple hall, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi. The aim of this meeting was to have a knowledge exchange with partners and practitioners in terms of the successes and shortcomings of the programme, discuss the way forward to take these partnerships to next level as well as further develop the network.

The key partners and presenters at the meeting were - Water Aid, Bangladesh represented by Dr. Khairul Islam and Ms Hasin Jahan; from Sri Lanka – Ms M.D. Tharangani Wickremasinghe of Ministry of Water and Drainage and Ms Tanuja N. Ariyananda of Lanka Rain Forum; and Mr Abadh Kishore Mishra from Ministry of Urban Development from Nepal including civil society organizations represented by – Prakash Amatya and Anil Sthapit CIUD and GUTHI respectively.

The other participants included practitioners from Bangaladesh – from Rain Forum (Mr. Ashraful Alum) and from BRAC University (Mr. AKM Sirajuddin); Youth Initiative (Ms. Karuna Thapa), NIVA RAIN Water Solutions (Mr. Narendra Man Dangol) , Smart Paani (Mr. Suman Sakya ) and Kathmandu Municipality (Mr. Indra Man Singh Suwal) ; and (Mr. Sisira Jayasundara) from Hatton National Bank, Sri Lanka.

The concluding session of the meeting involved a dialogue on developing an action plan and to discuss a way forward for next five years to scale up ongoing work in the three partner countries with CSE role including identifying funding streams, need for knowledge exchange and network building for mainstreaming best management practices for sustainable urban development / water management. The idea was to identify top priority areas where CSE could help and engage with these partners/ practitioners to scale up the existing work.

Bangladesh participants stressed on the need of CSE support for building up institutional capacity, with continued support to BRAC and other national public universities in rain water harvesting alongwith support in the policy advocacy. WaterAid Bangladesh highlight that CSE support on ongoing decentralized wastewater treatment need to continue for 2-3 years more and stated that funding was not a bottleneck for scaling up the existing partnership.

Sri Lankan partners expressed the necessity for continuity of the capacity building development programme with CSE for waste water and ground water recharge. They also emphasized the need for maintaining informal networks across South Asia and also put forward the idea to setup a regional network which would lead to knowledge dissemination. The requirement of CSE’s technical support for projects related to catchment protection and capacity building training for plumbers/masons for operation & maintenance in Sri Lanka was also laid on the table. Lastly, they also expressed the need for support to create a promotional tool to change people’s attitude towards RWH/DWWT. With regards to funding options such as CSR and external agency funding such as World Bank and USAID for capacity building was identified. Sri Lankan partners also recommended exploring tie ups with Institute for Construction Training and Development, Ministry of Housing, Sri Lanka.

The Nepal participants expressed the need for CSE’s assistance in revisiting the existing MoU. Need is for CSE knowledge support in peer-reviewing of building codes, understanding linkages on climate change and WASH activities, identification of gaps in training and capacity building, specialized and skill based training in themes such as solid waste management and septage management. They also expressed the need to develop a curriculum on the similar lines which CSE has developed for Bangladesh universities, Regarding funding options - Mr. Abadh Mishra (Joint Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development) indicated possibility of ministry funding some pilot RWH and DWWT projects and implementation of model projects at Nagarkot Training Centre.