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| Last Updated:13/03/2014

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Latest News

ADB, Gates Foundation form sanitation knowledge hub for S Asia

Business Standard, 12 March 2014


NEW DELHI: Manila based multi-lateral funding agency Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will jointly create a knowledge hub for South Asia to improve sanitation and urban services in the region.


"The ADB and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are bringing together the governments of Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka to create a South Asia Urban Knowledge Hub to help improve urban services, such as sanitation, in the region," ADB said in a release.


The hub will be is designed to bring managers, policy makers, and public and private sector experts together to discuss issues and solutions.


Sanitation is a pressing issue in the region and a target likely to be missed by the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals next year, ADB said.


"We will continue to work with the governments in Asia- Pacific region to make countries open-defecation free and complement their efforts by providing options for small-scale sanitation systems in urban and rural communities," said Amy Leung, Director of the Urban Development and Water Division in ADB's Southeast Asia Department.


About 1.7 billion people in Asia and the Pacific still lack access to improved sanitation, 780 million people still practice open defecation, and around 80 per cent of waste water is discharged without treatment.


ADB and the Gates Foundation have also set aside USD 2 million from the trust fund to top-up ADB's Facility for Pilot and Demonstration Activities.


The facility provides USD 50,000 grants to test innovative non-networked sanitation and septage management policies, technologies, and business models that can be scaled-up across the Asia-Pacific region.


Also, the partnership will provide a USD 1.6 million grant to pilot innovations in sanitation and septage management in Bangladesh as part of a planned ADB loan for coastal towns infrastructure improvement.


"Open defecation and inadequate toilets, sewers, and waste water treatment systems lead to massive amounts of untreated human waste in the environment, harming the health and well-being of children," said Brian Arbogast, director of the Water, Sanitation & Hygiene team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.