Dhaka, Tokyo launch cooperation for improved sewerage services

The high-level dialogue took place from October 3-6 in Tokyo, Japan

To promote improved sewerage services, the Asian Development Bank facilitated a high-level dialogue between Bangladesh and Japan, and launched a new partnership between Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (DWASA) and Bureau of Sewerage, Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

The high-level dialogue, led by Md Tazul Islam, Bangladesh’s minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives (LGRDC), took place from October 3-6 in Tokyo, Japan, according to a press release issued on Thursday. 

It included meetings with the governor of the Tokyo and the minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan to discuss broader cooperation in sewerage sector. 

The meetings were attended by senior officials including Mohammed Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury, secretary for Local Government Division, LGRDC, Taqsem A Khan, managing director, DWASA, and Norio Saito, director for Urban Development and Water Division of ADB’s South Asia Department.

A memorandum of Understanding was signed by DWASA and Bureau of Sewerage, Tokyo Metropolitan Government to start a one-year cooperation program under Water Organizations Partnership for Resilience. 

According to the document, cooperation activities will be implemented in the areas of smart and resilient sewerage services with a focus on efficient energy plan, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and efficient operation and maintenance; sludge management; and compact sewerage treatment plants. 

The cooperation activities will also aim to transfer best practices, expertise, and technology through peer-to-peer exchanges between DWASA and Bureau of Sewerage, Tokyo Metropolitan Government. 

Based on the cooperation activities outlined, a separate group of experts hired by ADB will assist DWASA in preparing a Roadmap for Mainstreaming Inclusive, Resilient, and Sustainable Sanitation Services Program, expected to be completed by 30 July 2023. 

The Water Sector Group at the Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department of ADB is funding the cooperation, which is the first such initiative with a Japanese water or sewerage authority.

The Bangladesh high-level officials gained understanding on the operational practices at Bureau of Sewerage, Tokyo Metropolitan Government to ensure its quality of sewerage services while containing operational costs. 

They observed several sewerage treatment plants to deepen their understanding on good facility design including how to secure green areas even in urban setting and with efficient land use. 

The delegation also observed how sludge, one of the largest challenges in sewerage services, is efficiently treated in Tokyo.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members – 49 from the region.