On 22 August 2017, Rodger Voorhies (Managing Director), Hari Menon (Senior Strategy Advisor) and Lynn Eisenhart (Senior Programme Officer) from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation visited the SNV Demonstration of Pro-poor market based solutions for faecal sludge management (FSM) project in Khulna, to witness firsthand the project's field level activities.
Throughout the trip, the visitors met with various stakeholders in the urban FSM value chain and learned of each of their contributions in creating a safer and an improved sanitation system in various urban hubs in Bangladesh.
The visit started at the Khulna Faecal Sludge Treatment Plant (FSTP), where the delegation was briefed and toured the plant. Afterwards, the group visited a sweeper’s colony in Sonadanga, where they met manual emptiers of faecal sludge tanks and Community Development Committee (CDC) members. During the visit, the publication “City Cleaners - Stories of Those Left Behind” that highlights the stories of manual emptiers was officially launched by Rodger Voories, amidst members from the Conservancy department, community leaders and FSM team.
At the next stop of the tour, the Khulna City Corporation, councillors and officials presented their work on FSM to the delegates. Finally, the group visited the Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (KUET) and the Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI).
The following day, 23 August 2017, the delegation participated in a consultation meeting organised by Bangladesh FSM Network, with the objective to discuss the status of faecal sludge management in Bangladesh and future pathways.