Grass-roots activists shared inspirational experiences on reducing female circumcision in Senegal, raising awareness of lesbian and transgender issues in Nepal and working for the dignity of sex workers in India at a special meeting at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva on Friday.
The South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN), a government-led biennial convention held on a rotational basis in each SAARC member country, provides an interactive platform for improving sanitation in South Asia. The first conference was held in Bangladesh in 2003, the second in Pakistan in 2006, the third in India in 2008 and the fourth in Sri Lanka in 2011. The fifth South Asian Conference on Sanitation, SACOSAN-V was organized by the Government of Nepal, Ministry of Urban Development with the theme “Sanitation for All: All for Sanitation”.
This briefing paper highlights some of the complex factors relating to equitable access to sanitation in South Asia, by illustrating case studies from countries across the region. It analyses barriers to access through the lens of social, economic, political, geographic, environmental and administrative factors.
The fifth SACOSAN conference –a government-led biennial convention held on a rotational basis in each of the eight countries off South Asia – concluded 24 October in Kathmandu, Nepal, with a call “to an open defecation free South Asia by 2023 and to progressively move towards sustainable environmental sanitation.”
This paper illustrates that although great progress has been made in community participation, tap and toilet construction coverage, and health education and promotion in Bhutan, more needs to be done to achieve the desired effective use and hygiene behaviour change necessary to ultimately attain the expected health and socio-economic impacts.