USAID & FCDO – supported Dhaka CALLING Project inspired a youth to come forward and talk about solid waste management
Shahinur Akhter is 23 years old and has been living in Mollas’ Slum. Under the Dhaka CALLING project, four Youth Advocacy Groups have been formed with fifty youths from four slums of Dhaka City. She joined the YAG after learning about the project and its’ activity. She is very vocal and bold. She said, “I am not afraid to talk in front of people. But I never feel that I need to talk about waste management issues, I never knew that this was something to take seriously. After working with Dhaka CALLING Project, for the very first time, I have realized I need to raise my voice about the improper waste management in my community.”
Along with other youth leaders, she attended community-level clean community campaigns, rallies, and poster-pasting related activities inside her community to raise awareness among the community people for their duty on waste management. She stated, “To keep our slum waste-free, we have some duties before going to ward councilors and other duty bearers for ensuring proper waste management.”
She believes that if it is possible to inform about the solid waste management system and community peoples’ duty to 10 people in the community then from each person another 10 people may know about the matter. In her neighborhood community, people previously kept their household waste outside their own house for a long period of time, and as a result, waste was scattered by dogs and children here and there.
She visited and talked to her neighbors adjacent to her house in the Kobir Mollas’ Slum, to not keep waste outside of the house for long or keep it inside the house for a short period until the waste was picked by the waste collector. After that, her neighbors do not keep the waste like before. That success inspires her more to keep working for the community and people.
Along with raising awareness among the community people for their duties in waste management, she has raised her voice several times in local and Nation level advocacy events. She talked in the Local Level Public Hearing, Meeting with PSC meeting demanding for “increasing budget allocation for Solid waste Management, asking permission for dumping waste into the adjacent Secondary Transfer Station (STS), as well as ensuring proper waste management system in the slum area by the implementation of the law/policies/rules related to the environment.
Along with other community people, she has submitted a memorandum to the member of PSC member on MoLGRD&C. She said, “I am very happy to be a part of the project. It’s a new journey for me. I have learnt where to communicate for solid waste management problems and what to do. So far I have done for my community is just the beginning, I will keep continuing my work for creating our slum pollution free.”