Achieving Universal Access to Water and Sanitation in Southeast Asia's Urban Communities

Photo Credit: Kibae Park

Includes commemoration of World Water Day (March 23); launch of World Water Development Report

Improved sanitation and wastewater management is crucial to maintain water security. It can bring significant benefits to poor communities, particularly women, and ensure the health of eco-systems and local populations. However, despite this keen need, a lack of awareness amongst policy makers, and the relatively high costs of sewage collection and treatment, often deters investments.

Against this backdrop, a joint UNESCAP and UN-Habitat project has been created as a stepping stone to a regional vision of assisting selected countries in South-East Asia to achieve universal access to water and sanitation by addressing the fast-growing problem of untreated wastewater. This is to be done through the promotion of the Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems (DEWATS).

WHAT: Regional Policy Workshop of Stakeholders on Decentralized Waste Water Treatment Systems (DEWATS) in Southeast Asia
19-21 March, 2014

The objective of the regional policy workshop is to enhance knowledge and awareness of DEWATS for urban and semi-urban communities in South-East Asia among national-level policy-makers, local government officials and other experts. This workshop draws from the elements of the joint ESCAP-UN-Habitat project implemented in Lao PDR, Cambodia and Viet Nam and will focus on building the capacity of policy-makers and planners for better wastewater management.

During the two first days of the session, challenges, policy tools and good practices of wastewater management and sanitation will be presented by national and local governments, as well as knowledge-sharing from regional network experts. Discussion will cover a wide range of aspects, from policy to institutional, technical, financial and stakeholder frameworks. It will also consider practical solutions for DEWATS in the region. The third day of the workshop will focus on the positive outcomes of the waste water management system and will be combined with the commemoration of the World Water Day on Energy and Water.

WHO: ESCAP and UN-Habitat, Governments of South-East Asia

WHEN: 19 -21 March 2014

WHERE: United Nations Conference Center, Rajadamnern Nok Avenue, Bangkok