Have you heard about SUWAS (Sustainable Urban Water and Sanitation – Integrated Processes) program? Have you known that SUWAS is one of the international training programs which enhances the comprehensive capacity building required in improving sustainable urban wash and sanitation functions?
With the objectives of supporting the planning and implementation of better and more sustainable urban wash and sanitation facilities and accommodating the rights, needs and demands of all citizens, NIRAS with the collaboration of WaterAid has been managing the international training program known as SUWAS program. The capacity development program is intended the local actors from the same geographical area to be engaged in actual collaboration and integration and to be gathered and worked together for the productive implementations. The 11-12-month long program consists of five phases including trainings abroad and in-home country and the implementation of Change projects in respective regions by candidates.
The virtual event of city seminar aimed to report and share the update news on Change projects of SUWAS alumnus and candidates took place November 24, 2020 via zoom platform. It was attended by over 50 participants including responsible persons from SUWAS program and guests who are interested in Change projects development.
As the first phase of the seminar, Mr. Shihab Uddin Ahmad, a country director of WaterAid Myanmar delivered the opening remarks. Then, Mr. Claus Pederson, who is the program director, gave a welcome speech for all the guests and explained a brief introduction about the program. Similarly, the mentor of SUWAS Myanmar team, Mrs. Gunilla delivered her welcoming speech and introduced the action learning approaches of the program and purposes of the Change projects. Before the presentation of SUWAS alumnus and candidates, the updated information of SUWAS-Myanmar programs and networking was reported by a national facilitator, Daw Thet Htar Myint.
Learning from Experiences by SUWAS Alumnus and Candidates
The followings are the inspiring achievements of SUWAS Alumnus and Candidates.
Applied SUWAS Principle in Sanitation and Hygiene Development of Rural and Urban Setting
Application of a Pro-poor Policy in Water Supply Project: A Pilot Installment Payment Program for the Connection Fee
Financial management is one of the influential factors in achieving an effectual water access management and is needed an appropriate way to handle for the sustainable success of water supply projects. U Aung Than Win, as a local Watsan coordinator in water supply project for 2000 households from 5 wards of Amarapura township, has managed an effective and equitable payment method for the water distribution operation by the application of SUWAS principles. While there are different affordable connection policies for accessing water, he decided to utilize a pilot installment payment method as he wanted to give support to a maximum number of households with a small amount of investment. Finally, the installment payment method is well-managed and is truly advantageous for the local people since most of them are low-wage earners and the project becomes a remarkable success of the SUWAS alumnus.
Non-revenue Water Reduction and Public Toilet Construction
Initiation of Separate Waste Disposal System in University of Mandalay
Promotion of WASH in Healthcare Facilities
Establishing WASH Coordination Mechanism
Aiming to reach the goal of SDG targets and Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan encompassing both urban and rural areas, WASH coordination mechanism is established and it is also one of the SUWAS change projects which is implemented by a WASH coordinator of UNICEF Myanmar, U Than Kyaw Soe.
Struggles such as poor sharing on updated WASH policy and technology among WASH stakeholders, weak documentation relating with urban WASH management, lack of collaboration and cooperation among research institution, executive body and private sector, weaken in urban WASH planning process through integrated approach and other related factors are interfering with urban WASH development. For these reasons, U Than Kyaw Soe came up with a strategy for setting up a WASH Coordination Mechanism for urban WASH development by leading MCDC. With the appliance of SUWAS principles, he has initiated some of the changes and also planned to continue his project in establishing regional level WASH technical support committee as a formal committee, in strengthening the coordination mechanism into district and township levels, in identifying the WASH gaps, frameworks and in promoting the resource sharing among WASH actors like government departments and organizations
Effective and Sustainable Coordination Mechanism on Organic Waste Management in Magway city
GRET Myanmar is operating solid waste management in Magway city with the objectives to reduce amount of waste, improve compost practices, produce natural fertilizer, advance the livelihoods of waste pickers who are working illegally in the dumping site. U Min Thein Ko, one of the SUWAS participants, facilitated as a Watsan coordinator in establishing the coordination mechanism between Magway Township Development Committee and GRET.
The work of cooperation between the local actors has created the job opportunities for the illegal waste pickers and also mapped out the survey of actual challenges and needs of these workers through participatory approaches.
He also originated the community building for young water professionals as part of his Change Project. He set up a young water professional network in order to find ways to solve the problems like poor collaborative effort between diverse generations in Myanmar water sector, poor exchanging opportunities, knowledge and information among young water generation and tackle poor facilitation among young water professionals to contribute in local and global water activities.
Idea Exchange Discussion
The discussion among the attendees that followed is full of noteworthy knowledge. It went smoothly by exploring more about automatic monitoring system of water meter reading applied by MCDC, solid waste segregation management both in urban and rural areas, disposal method for sanitary towels and better management of feminine hygiene. After all the attendees had energetically participated the contributed discussion, this year SUWAS city seminar was successfully come to an end.
Written by Thidar Maung Maung.
More about SUWAS program: here.