Speakers: Adequate budget for WASH to help meet SDGs
Hossen Sohel of DOT
The water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector needs to be prioritized and allocated an adequate, equitable budget in the upcoming national budget 2019-20, reports Dhaka Tribune.
This was remarked by speakers attending the pre-budget press conference titled “National WASH Budget Allocation 2019-20” at the National Press Club yesterday.
The speakers furthered that clean water and sanitation play an important role in the overall development of Bangladesh and are necessary to close the financing gap in order to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) six.
During the event, Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC) presented their research analysis of WASH financing over the last two fiscal years.
According to the report, the government has made commendable progress on WASH financing as the budget allocation has risen to Tk680.49 core in 2018-19 from Tk430.81 crore in 2010-11.
However, the relative growth allocation in this sector over the last eight years is only 56.31% ; a disproportionately low figure compared to the much bigger growth of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Annual Development Program (ADP), and the national budget during this period.
The analysis also pointed out geographic inequalities in WASH’s financial allocations; where cities and towns receive most of the funding whereas the acute needs of the rural, char, hilly, and coastal areas are ignored.
Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman, an eminent economist and the chairman of PPRC, said “WASH expenditure trends indicate under-utilization of allocations. This signals the need for improved monitoring of expenditure related to this.”
The press conference was jointly organized by: WaterAid, UNICEP , PPRC, FANSA , WSSCC, B , FSM Network , Sanitation and Water for all, and the WASH alliance.