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Environment, Water

“Commitment” as a success factor for fecal sludge management

"Commitment" as a success factor for fecal sludge management
Leh, a high-altitude cold desert in India, is a popular tourist destination hosting around 250,000 visitors annually. At present, the poorly designed septic tanks and soak pits installed by households, hotels, and guesthouses to contain fecal sludge are posing a serious threat to groundwater contamination. To cater to the demand for fecal sludge management (FSM), the Municipal Committee of Leh (MCL) partnered with a private company called Blue Water Company (BWC) and a technical nongovernment organization named BORDA in 2017 to provide an end-to-end FSM service, including pit emptying and operation of a sludge treatment plant.

Health, Water

What can countries in Asia learn from the Republic of Korea and Malaysia about sanitation and its economic impacts?

What can countries in Asia learn from the Republic of Korea and Malaysia about sanitation and its economic impacts?
In 2014, when I first moved to the Republic of Korea from India, I was impressed and awestruck by the country’s infrastructure and ease of mobility. Being an architect, the aspect I found most endearing of the city-wide master planning was the access and provision of toilets almost everywhere, be it at metro train stations, bus terminals, shopping plazas, parks, or even on mountain hikes. The convenience of having clean and hygienic toilets in public places was truly a gift for me during my stay there for a few years.


The water challenge: international trade to the rescue

The Water Challenge: International Trade to the Rescue
In many parts of the world, water availability is in decline and its quality is deteriorating. According to the World Bank, water scarcity, intensified by climate change, could come at a high price for some regions, costing as much as 6 percent of their gross domestic product. Tackling the water challenge is crucial to unlocking poverty eradication, prosperity, ecosystems preservation, and gender equality. As such, water security is a fundamental element of a sustainable development agenda. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals recognized this by introducing a dedicated water goal (“SDG 6”) that seeks to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”

Social development and protection, Water

Extending the reach of flood insurance

Rice fields submerged by floods in Pakistan
Over the past few weeks, South Asian countries have been suffering torrential rains and devastating floods and landslides, exacerbated by Cyclone Komen, leaving over 100 dead and over a million displaced from Pakistan to Myanmar. The annual monsoon season in the region, normally a lifeline for farmers, this year resulted in floods that have caused severe damage to crops.