Training programme on sustainable water management for practising professionals, students and researchers of Bangladesh, September 23-27, 2012

Training programme on Sustainable Water Management was organised by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in collaboration with the Water Aid in Bangladesh (WAB). The programme was held between September 23-27, 2012.

Two training workshops namely ‘Urban Rainwater Harvesting’ and ‘Decentralised Wastewater Treatment including Recycle and Reuse’ were held under this programme. Both the programmes were organised at the BRAC training centre at Savar near Dhaka. Each of the programmes was divided into lectures, practical exercises and field trips. The lectures on urban rainwater harvesting programme were delivered on September 23-24, 2012 and those on decentralised wastewater treatment including recycle and reuse were delivered on September 25-26, 2012. Field trips were arranged for good understanding of urban rainwater harvesting and  decentralised waste water treatment systems on September 25 and 27 respectively.

To encourage conservation of water within the country, the Bangladesh National Building Code (BNBC) has proposed rainwater harvesting features to be mandatory in the buildings. The code also proposes concessions to maximum building areas which have incorporated such environment friendly features in their new construction.  Inadequate sewage disposal system and treatment facilities have resulted in high levels of pollution in river Buriganga and other waterbodies in the country. The high court in the past one year has issued stern orders on prevention of encroachment and spread of pollution in the lakes and wetlands of the country. Now the need is for main streaming the implementation of rainwater harvesting and decentralised wastewaster systems in the country and create awareness amongst the masses for the same.

Speaking at the inauguration session of the workshop, Professor Abdul Matin of the Dhaka University  stated the usefulness of rainwater harvesting and decentralised wastewater treatment systems for sustainability of the water resources in urban areas. He emphasised on the urgent threat arising because of the depletion of the groundwater table and surface water pollution and how the decentralised approaches can act as immediate solutions. A presentation was made by CSE on how CSE spearheaded the movement on decentralised systems in India. Hasin Jahan, Programme Director, WAB talked about the partnership with CSE and also presented the work of WAB on water and waste.

The trainings are third in the series of various activities to be undertaken for supporting WAB on water-waste issues in Bangladesh. The focus of these trainings was to impart skills to practising professionals, researchers and academicians in implementation of urban rain water harvesting systems and decentralised waste water recycle and reuse. Both the training programmes were attended by twenty three participants from different parts of Bangladesh.