The call was made at a workshop organised by Oxfam in Bangladesh in collaboration with the government, private sector, INGOs and NGOs at the International Training Network Centre of Buet in Dhaka on Wednesday.
Representatives of around 56 companies participated in the programme titled 'Private Sector Environment in Emergency Water Sanitation and Hygiene Response'.
“We have safe shelters for all the affected communities during the emergency period after floods, cyclones, and river erosion among others, but we are unable to provide adequate WASH services,” said Md Shah Kamal, secretary at the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief.
“The contributions of NGOs including Oxfam to Water Sanitation and Health sectors are encouraging. Such services will be increased if the whole of the private sector provides cooperation,” he added.
He claimed that the private companies are only busy with their own businesses and think how to develop their businesses with political influence, although a few companies have taken initiatives and started working with government-run agencies.
Md Shah Kamal, also chief guest of the workshop, said the initiatives for the WASH project are very poor. Private companies can play a bigger role and aim at reducing vulnerabilities and health risks mostly impacting the poor communities in the country.
Snehal V Soneji, country director of Oxfam in Bangladesh made the opening remarks, while the programme was moderated by Hasin Jahan, country director of Practical Action Bangladesh.