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Sanitation Workers Awards Acknowledged Practical Action’s Bangladesh Contributions

By Practical Action On 03.11.2023 CitiesWater & wastePress release

A group of people standing in front of a large screen at the Sanitation Workers Research Awards.Practical Action has been honoured with an award at the 2023 Sanitation Workers Research Awards of the UNC Water and Health Conference.

Our submitted abstract, “Reviewing a transformative model for empowering and dignifying sanitation workers’ lives in regional Bangladesh,” secured third place (ex aequo) in the Best Original Research Abstract category.

The Water Institute at the University of North Carolina and the Initiative for Sanitation Workers jointly organised the third edition of the Sanitation Workers Research Awards. The awards highlight the essential public service provided by sanitation workers, including pit emptiers and sewer workers, often at the cost of their dignity, safety, health, and living conditions.

This recognition not only acknowledges our dedication to pioneer sanitation and waste management solutions. It emphasises the crucial role of collaboration to ensure the dignity, safety, and well-being of sanitation workers. To tackle sewage system challenges, we focus on developing entrepreneurial skills and improving working conditions in close partnership with low-income communities, neighbourhood organisations, and town-wide federations.

Led by Uttam Kumar Saha, our Urban and Energy strategic lead in Bangladesh, and Michael Poustie, this research presents our model that has significantly impacted the lives of numerous sanitation workers across 13 cities, instilling a sense of dignity and empowerment.

Experiencing acknowledgement at a renowned conference amidst an audience of 2000 people was truly gratifying. The research abstract, crafted in collaboration with sanitation workers’ cooperatives, is as much their triumph as it is ours. Within this abstract, we delved into a transformative model characterised by its cyclical nature, perpetually evolving with each new learning – Uttam Kumar Saha.

We invite you to explore our initiatives and join us toward a healthier, sustainable future. Together, we can make lasting steps to transform sanitation practices and improve lives in Bangladesh and beyond.

Learn more about our work in Bangladesh