13 April 2022 | UCLG ASPAC welcomed once again the Municipal Association of Bangladesh (MAB) to also execute the Municipalities Network Advocacy for Sanitation in South Asia (MuNASS) Phase II as the implementing partner in Bangladesh. In a virtual ceremony on 13 April 2022, UCLG ASPAC and MAB signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support municipalities in Nepal and Bangladesh to strengthen urban sanitation service delivery and test innovations to fill Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.2 data gaps.
“In our experiences, the engagement of local government associations in this safe sanitation initiative has produced very fruitful and sustainable results,” said Dr. Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi, Secretary General of UCLG ASPAC. “We are not a non-governmental organisation and our operations are different, but we cannot achieve the functions underlined by the City-Wide Inclusive Sanitation or CWIS without strong partnerships with different actors,” she added.
As per consultations with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, funder of the MuNASS programme, most of the activities under MuNASS II in Bangladesh will be rolled out through WaterAid Bangladesh and UCLG ASPAC will be the bridge to assist MAB to achieve the goals, focusing on the targets set by MuNASS II. The same programme will also capacitate MAB to have a stronger and sustainable role within the Fecal Sludge Management (FSM) Network in Bangladesh.
“You will not only learn but will also share your learning experiences with local government associations (LGAs) of other countries,” Dr. Bernadia said. MuNASS II will also partner with the LGAs in Cambodia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Viet Nam to share and learn from each other on issues of safe sanitation.
Speaking at the occasion, MAB’s Secretary General and Mayor of Madaripur Municipality, Khalid Hossain, thanked UCLG ASPAC’s continuous efforts to strengthen local governments in Bangladesh which will also assist in achieving the SDGs.
“After the completion of MUNASS Phase I, we are now moving to implement MuNASS Phase II which means we did a good job in implementing policy advocacy by engaging municipalities, government, non-government organisations as well as civil society organisations and bringing them under one platform,” said MAB President, Dewan Kamal Ahmed who is also the Mayor of Nilphamari Municipality in Bangladesh. “There is still so much to do in managing fecal sludge in cities that is important to save millions of lives,” he added.
MAB was also the implementing partner in the earlier phase of MuNASS in Bangladesh. In Nepal, MuNASS II is being implemented by the Municipal Association of Nepal (MuAN) with Environment and Public Health Organisation (ENPHO) as the technical partner.