There is no opportunity to neglect integrity management-Md. Tajul Islam

আপডেট: ডিসেম্বর ২২, ২০২১

Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperative Mr. Tajul Islam MP said, “We are lagging behind in many sectors as we have achieved.” In addition to our SDG goals, in 2041 we will be transformed into a developed and prosperous country. That is why there is no room for negligence in the implementation of Integrity Management, as it is a fundamental issue. It’s not just about the WASH sectors but if we do not pay attention to this issue everywhere, we will be stuck in achieving our goals for a good reason.
He made the remarks in a webinar organized by NGO Forum for Public Health, Bangladesh Water Integrity Network, Water Integrity Network (German) and Bhorer Kagoj on Wednesday (December 22) morning.
Tajul Islam said that if it has to be said specifically, then accountability comes first. But where is the accountability – Accountability in the form of public, in economic aspects, Accountability in the form of performance. Now we are in a very convenient position for this accountability all over the country, that convenient thing is automation. With automation you can preserve all services as well as confirm and determine what kind of services should be provided in which sectors. There is no reason why we should not have a firm commitment to fulfill the responsibility entrusted to us. It is not only the WASH sector, we are committed to do it in all sectors.
Regarding sanitation, he said that there is a management system for fecal sludge treatment, for which you have to treat all the sewage that you have. Safety trucks are not very functional, he said, citing the example of Gulshan Lake. Besides, the minister suggested paying attention to the management of service lines.
Mr. Tajul Islam said that in order to achieve the commitment on water, sanitation and hygiene we have to focus on Accountability, Transparency and Internal Management. We need to keep an eye on those who are responsible for providing the service. He called upon all to pay attention to their respective organizations and work in this regard.
Shyamal Dutt, editor of Bhorer Kagoj, the organizer of the event, said, “Out of the 17 goals we have for sustainable development, number 6 is to ensure safe water and sanitation for all.” It is being implemented by the Ministry of Local Government. WASAs of the country are working in different ways in this regard.
He added that the problem of integrity management is a challenge of WASH management that must be removed. We have a national integrity strategy, in the light of which we have to move forward.
SMA Rashid, executive director of the NGO Forum for Public Health, said that in 2010 the United Nations recognized safe water and sanitation as fundamental rights. However, many countries in the world are lagging behind in this regard. However, Bangladesh’s position in South Asia is relatively good.
He said that in order to achieve the SDG goal, we need to pay close attention to the targets of water a-sanitation. The government has formulated a national integrity strategy. But we have not yet reached the desired goal. Therefore, Integrity Management needs to move forward to address the weaknesses in the water and sanitation services sector by identifying them.
He emphasized on bringing all the people of the society under safe water and sanitation. For this, he emphasized on achieving the desired goal by strengthening the institutional governance.
In his presentation, Kazi Monir Mosharraf, Focal Person of Integrity Management Project, NGO Forum and Coordinator of Bangladesh Water Integrity Network, said that despite the UN recognizing water as a basic human right, about 2.2 billion people worldwide are deprived of safe water and 4.2 billion people has no safe sanitation system. In addition, about 550 million people in the world live in urban areas; they suffer from the problem of safe water. Although 98.5 per cent people have access to water in Bangladesh, many are far from having access to safe water. In the case of sanitation, Bangladesh is almost open defecation free but basic sanitation coverage is much less. Therefore, to achieve the SDG target by 2030, he said, water governance should be strengthened, corruption should be prevented and integrity management should be established. He emphasized on the proper implementation of the National Integrity Strategy in the WASH sector.
Dhaka WASA Managing Director Taksim A Khan said, “We launched the Reform Project in 2009, which included Integrity Management. He said, “We have identified 5 issues of water mismanagement in bold.” There is still interference in the mindset of service providers, reduction of bureaucracy, non-transparency, accountability, unionism and unwanted issues. He emphasized on institutional reformation.
He further said that in order to eradicate corruption, we have to identify these issues and the places of corruption and change them. We have identified and removed these problems. He also mentioned the supply of potable water in the slums of the capital. He also mentioned the involvement of NGOs in water management and implementation of zero tolerance policy in this regard.
Khulna WASA MD Abdullah said that Khulna WASA has taken several steps to ensure transparency, accountability and reduce corruption by establishing Integrity Management in WASA. He mentioned the introduction of meter reading, billing system and e-procurement system in digitalization system. Rajshahi WASA Managing Director Zakir Hossain said that since the National Water Supply and Sanitation Strategy has stated that people have equal rights in water. So we are trying to spread its benefits to all people. He said that by 2030, it will be possible to ensure water demand among all through our concerted efforts.
Saifur Rahman, chief engineer of public health, said, “I have taken a project worth Tk 9,000 crore for water supply.” Through which we are trying to ensure water supply across the country. We have to guarantee water for SDG. The target has been set to set up laboratories in 64 districts. We have started two big works for sanitation. Sanitation is being done in 100 upazilas with the help of a World Bank. We will build each latrine at a cost of Rs. 55,000 with the help of ADB. And we are building a treatment plant for solid waste management. The government has multiplied the allocation for water and sanitation. We hope to reach this goal by 2030.
Shahidul Hasan, chairman of Bowin, said that it was important to ensure safe water for all by 2030 and to ensure transparency. As the government as well as non-governmental organizations and NGOs are working, the achievement of the government’s targets has come a long way. If we can take these things forward through the establishment of good governance and transparency, then we will go a long way towards achieving the SDGs.
Dr. Anwar Zahid of Bangladesh Water Development Board, Salma Mahbub of B Scan, Shah Mohammad Anwar Kamal, Executive Director of UST, Tahera Ferdous,Chittagong WASA DMD, LGD (PSB) Joint Secretary Numeri Zaman, Simavir Country Coordinator Alok Majumder, Chief Operating Officer, CWIS-FSM Cell, DPHER Abdullah Al-Muayed, Zakir Hossain Khan of Change Initiative, Ranjon Kumar Ghosh of Wateraid, and Jobayer Hossain DORP also spoke at the webinar.