President Abdul Hamid on Monday stressed the need for putting best efforts in generating innovative and sustainable solutions to ensure a healthy and hygienic atmosphere and build a prosperous South Asia.
“Now is the time to give our best efforts in generating innovative, sustainable solutions that will ensure our future generations to live in a healthy and hygienic atmosphere and build a prosperous South Asia," he said. He said water, sanitation and hygiene were taking centre stage in the post MDG era. The President made the statement as he addressed the Sixth South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN-VI) held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city.
Hamid said water, sanitation and hygiene would come into the forefront as the South Asian nations go forward into the era of the Sustainable Development Goals.
He added that water, sanitation and hygiene were finally being acknowledged as the critical area of work that was essential to human health, well-being and dignity.
Mentioning that water supply and sanitation were a basic need for healthy living, he said sanitation was the primary intervention, which protects water, air, soil and food from contamination.
"Inadequate sanitation and open defecation contaminate the environment and open many routes of transmission of diseases. Diarrhoea and water-borne and water-washed diseases are directly or indirectly related to poor sanitation," President Hamid added.
The President said that open defecation decreased from 67% in 1990 to 35% in 2015 and population coverage by improved sanitation has increased from 20% to 45% during same period in South Asia.
"These achievements owe a great deal to our commitment and pioneering stance in acting as a region in water, sanitation and hygiene sector,” he said, according to a news agency.