Dhaka, Mar 20 (UNB)- Speakers on Wednesday advocated for prioritising Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector with adequate allocation in the upcoming National Budget of 2019-2020 fiscal year for attaining Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.
They came up with the opinion at a pre-budget press conference on National WASH budget allocation 2019-2020 jointly arranged by WaterAid, UNICEF, PPRC, FANSA, WSSCC,B, FSM Network, Sanitation and Water for All and WASH alliance held at the Jatiya Press Club.
They discussed why financing for SDG 6, clean water and sanitation, one of 17 SDGs in the upcoming National Budget 2019-2020 is necessary in order to achieve SDGs.
Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC) Chairman Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman said its clear from WASH expenditure trend that proper utilisation of the allocation is still a challenge.
“Improved capacity and monitoring of the expenditure is a necessary task now,” he added.
Dr Hossain also said that the allocations for rural areas and secondary towns are not enough to support proper sanitation and clean water supply. He also expressed concerns about un-funded city corporations’ incapability in achieving SDG 6.
An analysis of PPRC reveals that government has made commendable progress on WASH financing as the allocation has risen to Taka 68.49 billion in 2018-19 from Taka 43.81 billion in 2010-11.
However, the relative growth in WASH allocation within the same period has increased only 56.31 percent comparing to the substantial growth in GDP at 108.16 per cent and National Budget growth being 118.57 per cent and considerable growth in ADP and LGD allocation also.
The WaterAid and Unicef supported analysis also show geographical inequality in WASH allocation, with cities and town receiving most of the funding despite rural, char, hilly and coastal areas having acute needs.
All the organisations jointly put forward a set of recommendations including WASH allocation for hard-to-reach areas and un-funded city corporations; enhanced rural and secondary town’s allocations through Department of Public Health and Environment (DPHE); establishing WASH budget utilisation monitoring unit; building policy awareness on the complexity of the SDG 6 challenges; reducing financing gap for WASH to realise SDG 6 targets and more.