Sanitation Workers: A Frontier Fighter for Building a Healthy City[Case Study of Khulna City]

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  • AjitSeshadri
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  • Marine Chief Engineer by profession (1971- present) and at present Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, Chennai, India. Also proficient in giving Environmental solutions , Designation- Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Head- Environment, The Vigyan Vijay Foundation, NGO, New Delhi, INDIA , Consultant located at present at Chennai, India
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Re: Sanitation Workers: A Frontier Fighter for Building a Healthy City[Case Study of Khulna City]

Dear SuSanA Member- Mr Shakil WASH.
We agree word for word what you have described,
In India too similar conditions prevail at the plight of san-wrkrs.
We need All to become aware of the importance of the nature of work and give dignity,  status, equal remuneration and facilities that an H)T Electric Technicians get in their nature of work.
Wilt the use of PPE, Safety procedures,  can have Gas- Meters to Monitor the gas % levels.
The state is highly dangerous to work without guard, Methane being odourless is difficult to detect and is highly lethal.
Our Well wishes to All in this trade.
Prof Ajit Seshadri 
Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, and
Head-Environment , VigyanVijay Foundation, Consultant (Water shed Mngmnt, WWT, WASH, others)Located at present at Chennai, India
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  • shakilWASH
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    Topic Author
  • CEO, PEACE(Research & Consultancy) WASH Focal , Tiller(Spatial Planning Consultancy) Specialist : #Climate Resilient Inclusive Smart City (CRISC) Planning and Development #Citywide Inclusive Sanitation Planning and Development
  • Posts: 4
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Re: Sanitation Workers: A Frontier Fighter for Building a Healthy City[Case Study of Khulna City]

Sanitation workers are anessential part of any city, but their work often goes unnoticed and
underappreciated. In Khulna city, located in southwestern Bangladesh,
sanitation workers face a range of challenges and difficulties in carrying out
their important work. Many sanitation workers in Khulna city are employed by
the local government, but they often work long hours for low wages, with little
job security or benefits. They are responsible for collecting and disposing of
waste from homes, businesses, and public spaces, often in hazardous and
unsanitary conditions. One of the biggest challenges faced by sanitation
workers in Khulna city is the lack of adequate equipment and protective gear.
Many workers do not have access to gloves, masks, or other protective clothing,
which puts them at risk of injury or illness from exposure to hazardous
materials.

"I got PPE and OHS training in 2018 and during covid 19. But I don't feel
comfortable to use PPE during work. It's made disturbance in work. So, I use
PPE rarely if get pressure from authority. Moreover, I think it's made me warmer
and over sweating in most of the time except winter. But I know, it's essential
to use PPE for my safety. I will use PPE if these are manufactured with
comfortable design and materials"

___Pranto Das (8 years Vacuum Tanker Emptying Profession, KCC)

During focus group discussion with most of the sanitation workers both manual
and mechanical, they won't use PPE due to uncomfortableness and lack of
awareness. I think PPE should be prepared considering weather in our area and
promote them regular counseling. In addition, sanitation workers in Khulna city
often face discrimination and stigma from other members of the community. Their
work is seen as dirty and unskilled, and they are often subjected to verbal
abuse and harassment.

"We don't have any health and life insurance facility and permanent job
facility. We just used once and through like waste. If we accident during work,
we won't get any health compensation and nobody take responsibility to support
us. It's our generation-to-generation problem. We are suffering extreme poverty
at present due to introducing Vacuum Tanker Emptying service. We are unemployed
day by day. What would be our future generations fate?  
My younger son at age 14 among 3 children. He goes with me and help my work. I
won't able to send for primary education. Education is our dream. My average
monthly income is 4000 Taka ($50). Do you know how we can survive with current
price hike? We keep city clean, but what we get? We get poor payment, no
permanent job and job facility. "


___Gopal Das (25 years manual emptying profession, KCC)

During focus group discussion with sanitation worker and KII with Conservancy
officer, it's found that sanitation workers job not get any formal recognition
by permanent job and facilities. They get payment like pay per work daily basis
and paid 450-550Taka ($5-$7) for 6-8 hours. It's called "No work, no
payment" during sick or absence due to injury. It's comparatively half
payment compare to formal sanitation worker (paid daily $10-$12 with others job
facilities). In addition to about 97% sanitation workers are informal and
deprived from their labor’s rights and decent job facilities. Despite
these challenges, many sanitation workers in Khulna city take pride in their
work and are committed to keeping the city clean and healthy. They work
tirelessly day in and day out, often in extreme weather conditions, to ensure
that waste is collected and disposed of safely and efficiently. To address the
challenges faced by sanitation workers in Khulna city, there is a need for
greater investment in infrastructure and equipment, as well as increased
awareness and respect for the important work that they do. By providing
sanitation workers with the tools and support that they need, we can ensure that
they are able to carry out their work safely and effectively, and help to build
a cleaner and healthier city for all.
Best regards
Woakimul Islam Shakil

CEO, PEACE
Technical Focal, CWIS(DPHE, Bangladesh),Tiller.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Cell: +8801744976369
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  • shakilWASH
  • shakilWASH's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • CEO, PEACE(Research & Consultancy) WASH Focal , Tiller(Spatial Planning Consultancy) Specialist : #Climate Resilient Inclusive Smart City (CRISC) Planning and Development #Citywide Inclusive Sanitation Planning and Development
  • Posts: 4
  • Likes received: 2

Sanitation Workers: A Frontier Fighter for Building a Healthy City[Case Study of Khulna City]

Sanitation workers are an essential part of any city, but their work often goes unnoticed and
underappreciated. In Khulna city, located in southwestern Bangladesh,
sanitation workers face a range of challenges and difficulties in carrying out
their important work. Many sanitation workers in Khulna city are employed by
the local government, but they often work long hours for low wages, with little
job security or benefits. They are responsible for collecting and disposing of
waste from homes, businesses, and public spaces, often in hazardous and
unsanitary conditions. One of the biggest challenges faced by sanitation
workers in Khulna city is the lack of adequate equipment and protective gear.
Many workers do not have access to gloves, masks, or other protective clothing,
which puts them at risk of injury or illness from exposure to hazardous
materials.

"I got PPE and OHS training in 2018 and during covid 19. But I don't feel
comfortable to use PPE during work. It's made disturbance in work. So, I use
PPE rarely if get pressure from authority. Moreover, I think it's made me warmer
and over sweating in most of the time except winter. But I know, it's essential
to use PPE for my safety. I will use PPE if these are manufactured with
comfortable design and materials"

___Pranto Das (8 years Vacuum Tanker Emptying Profession, KCC)

During focus group discussion with most of the sanitation workers both manual
and mechanical, they won't use PPE due to uncomfortableness and lack of
awareness. I think PPE should be prepared considering weather in our area and
promote them regular counseling. In addition, sanitation workers in Khulna city
often face discrimination and stigma from other members of the community. Their
work is seen as dirty and unskilled, and they are often subjected to verbal
abuse and harassment.

"We don't have any health and life insurance facility and permanent job
facility. We just used once and through like waste. If we accident during work,
we won't get any health compensation and nobody take responsibility to support
us. It's our generation-to-generation problem. We are suffering extreme poverty
at present due to introducing Vacuum Tanker Emptying service. We are unemployed
day by day. What would be our future generations fate?  
My younger son at age 14 among 3 children. He goes with me and help my work. I
won't able to send for primary education. Education is our dream. My average
monthly income is 4000 Taka ($50). Do you know how we can survive with current
price hike? We keep city clean, but what we get? We get poor payment, no
permanent job and job facility. "


___Gopal Das (25 years manual emptying profession, KCC)

During focus group discussion with sanitation worker and KII with Conservancy
officer, it's found that sanitation workers job not get any formal recognition
by permanent job and facilities. They get payment like pay per work daily basis
and paid 450-550Taka ($5-$7) for 6-8 hours. It's called "No work, no
payment" during sick or absence due to injury. It's comparatively half
payment compare to formal sanitation worker (paid daily $10-$12 with others job
facilities). In addition to about 97% sanitation workers are informal and
deprived from their labor’s rights and decent job facilities. Despite
these challenges, many sanitation workers in Khulna city take pride in their
work and are committed to keeping the city clean and healthy. They work
tirelessly day in and day out, often in extreme weather conditions, to ensure
that waste is collected and disposed of safely and efficiently. To address the
challenges faced by sanitation workers in Khulna city, there is a need for
greater investment in infrastructure and equipment, as well as increased
awareness and respect for the important work that they do. By providing
sanitation workers with the tools and support that they need, we can ensure that
they are able to carry out their work safely and effectively, and help to build
a cleaner and healthier city for all.

Best regards
Woakimul Islam Shakil

CEO, PEACE (Research and Planning Consultancy)
Technical Focal, CWIS(DPHE, Bangladesh),Tiller.

Email:  shakil.urp.pust@gmail.com
shakil.tiller@gmail.com
Cell: +8801744976369
Best regards
Woakimul Islam Shakil

CEO, PEACE
Technical Focal, CWIS(DPHE, Bangladesh),Tiller.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Cell: +8801744976369
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