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Regional climate conference 2023 has ended

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In collaboration with the Swiss Embassy in Bangladesh, WaterAid Bangladesh participated in the Regional Climate Conference 2023 regarding country’s water and waste management sector.
The session titled ‘Water and Waste: Strengthening Local Governance for Urban Resilience and Sustainability’ the session served as a pivotal platform for insightful discussions and meaningful dialogue among industry experts and key stakeholders.
This session was held as part of the Regional Climate Conference 2023, hosted at the Sheraton Dhaka from 8-10 September 2023, witnessed the graceful presence of Mr. Md Tazul Islam, MP, Honourable Minister, Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives.
The Minister shared profound insights into the prevailing state of water and waste management in Bangladesh and emphasised the necessity for collaborative endeavours to combat these challenges. Other notable speakers included – Ms. Agatha Sangma, MP, Member of Climate Parliament India; Mr. Madhav Sapkota, MP, Member of Climate Parliament Nepal; Ms. Corinne Henchoz Pignani, Deputy Head of Cooperation, Embassy of Switzerland in Bangladesh; and Ms. Hasin Jahan, Country Director, WaterAid Bangladesh.
The summit provided an ideal stage for the experts to delve into critical steps aimed at reinforcing local governance in the pursuit of climate-resilient sustainable development. The key measures underlined during the session include – empowering local governance; enhancing community engagement; adoption of innovation and technology; fostering collaboration and partnerships; and formulation and implementation of netter policies and regulations.
Md. Tazul Islam, MP, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives (MoLGRD&C) said “The Ministry of LGRD&C will build waste incinerators to produce electricity. With the help of foreign investors, we will build the plants, and the government will buy the electricity. Daily 3,000-4,000 tons of waste will be processed and the plants can be expanded in the future. We can solve any challenges once we can make local leaders accountable, transparent, build up their capacity and, drive collective actions”
Corinne Henchoz Pignani, Deputy Head of Cooperation, Embassy of Switzerland in Bangladesh, reflected the same idea, saying “The most efficient way to address an issue is where the people are concerned. We engage with local government, citizens, civil societies, and grassroots organizations. Private sector engagement is also key. We need to work with all stakeholders to tackle climate change through impact investing and community sensitization.”
WaterAid Bangladesh’s Country Director Hasin Jahan said, “Climate change is causing more frequent and severe natural disasters, which are having a devastating impact on water and sanitation. We need to invest in resilient infrastructure and build the resilience of people, especially women, so that they can cope with these disasters. One way to do this is to train women to operate water treatment plants and other climate-adaptive infrastructure. This will help them to earn a livelihood and become self-sustaining water entrepreneurs.”
Very recently, Embassy of Switzerland awarded a multi-year project titled ‘GO4IMPact’ to WaterAid Bangladesh and Swisscontact. This initiative aims to enhance local democracy and foster equitable, climate-resilient public services in water and waste management. The project prioritises empowering marginalised groups, especially women, the impoverished, youth, and socially excluded individuals, while also encouraging private sector involvement in working alongside local government institutions and service providers for more accountable and equitable services in these critical areas.

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