Blog post written by Zobair Hassan of Development Organisation of the Rural Poor (DORP) ahead of world Water day, 22 March 2016.
‘Water Action Month’ began in Bangladesh with the launch of activities by DORP, at schools in very hard to reach areas around the country.
Through these activities and workshops, school children committed to raise their voice to call for greater availability of water to nearer to their school premises, and if possible, that running water should be made available for better ‘Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM)’ for girls. Already in one school in these hard to reach areas - “Balurchar High School” - observed Water Action Month earlier in March, with the chair of the School Management Committee agreeing to provide separate toilets for girls with running water and MHM facilities. This has given a lot of hope for the girl students who particularly face the problem during their menstrual periods. It looks like great action has already been taken on this month.
Ahead of World Water Day, DORP organised a seminar on 21 March to engage policy makers in Dhaka, and distributed leaflets to demand an end to the water crisis by calling on government to implement various strategy, rules, acts and sufficient budget allocation. This call was to dramatically improve water distribution, so that people of the community can realize their human rights to water and sanitation, and meet their need to access water. This event was also to inform local duty bearers to get their priorities in order and to keep their promises!
Water Action Month is an opportunity to ignite and increase the call for water accessibility, governance and accountability. We applaud End Water Poverty for forming this important campaign and commit ourselves fully to Water Action Month. We are using the month to demand the government of Bangladesh to fulfil commitments made in the 7th five year plan and Sector Development Plan 2011-2025 – and are doing so through increased public awareness and active citizens’ engagement. Water Action Month also offers us a unique platform for civil society to ensure local governments in eight divisions of Bangladesh allocate a significant portion of their ADP and Social Development Funds to WASH.
Great advocacy work calling for change. Together for a better future for all!