As many as 500 experts from SAARC countries will meet in Colombo from April 4 to 7 to discuss the complex sanitation needs of South Asian countries and methods to improve it.
More than 700 million people in South Asia practice open defecation. India has among the lowest sanitation coverage in the region which is 31 per cent.
South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN) IV will have representatives of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka review the progress of commitments made in 2008 in Delhi. SACOSAN IV will identify specific objectives for the member countries to accelerate the progress of the provision of sanitation services in South Asia, enhancing people’s quality of life.
The Ministers in charge of sanitation in the region will attend a ministerial summit on April 6. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, will inaugurate the meet. At the conclusion of the Conference, a declaration will be made and countries will agree to act upon the specific objectives identified in the Conference.
The Conference on Sanitation is a biennial Conference. The first conference was held in Bangladesh in 2003, the second in Pakistan in 2006 and the third in India in 2008, reported The Hindu.