Soldiers of sanitation: when will their plight end?
Sanitation and waste workers clean toilet pits, septic tanks; they enter manholes and sewers to unblock them; they make sure houses, schools, offices, streets -- the entire city remains clean and healthy. However, their health and safety remain under the grime of prejudice and neglect.
Sanitation work is one of the most hazardous jobs in Bangladesh. They work under extreme conditions, with no safety equipment, and in return they get unsustainable wages, social stigma and next to no concern for their health safety. Universal health coverage is impossible without their work, and more importantly without ensuring their well-being.
The Daily Star, WaterAid Bangladesh and the Embassy of Sweden have come together to start a campaign for these unsung heroes: The Untold Stories of Sanitation and Waste Workers. In the first installment of the campaign, Debjani Shyama hosts Hossain Ishrath Adib, Director programme of WaterAid Bangladesh, and health policy and systems researcher Dr Taufique Joarder to discuss the health condition of the sanitation and waste workers.