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Youth Participation at the Fourth South Asia Conference on Sanitation 2011 (SACOSAN IV)

Nearly fifty young people participated in the South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN) which was recently held in Colombo. The cohort of youth called out to government, policy makers and donors to listen to their views and take action in order to improve the sanitation condition in the region. “Sanitation facilities should meet both quantity and quality requirements if we are to improve the quality of life,” said a group of young people during the inaugural session.

“Policies without enforcement do not serve the intended purpose” said 16 year old Riveesha Siriwardhena. “Policy-makers and implementers must work together” she said. The SACOSAN conference provided a platform for knowledge sharing to help accelerate the progress on sanitation and improve the quality of life for people in the region.

Among the several inputs the young people asserted that the maintenance of sanitation facilities is a shared responsibility irrespective of social or professional status.

Some 400 delegates from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka participated in this biennial event which was held during 4th and 7th April 2011. The participation of youth was a key feature this year with several being part of the inaugural and technical sessions leading to the Colombo Declaration. The Youth participation at the SACOSAN IV was led by the Ministry of Education with support from UNICEF.



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