Training to produce Environmental Specialists

Training for Environmentalists

Abu Baker :: A pilot course has been introduced to develop expertise in key environmental engineering positions to address the increasing need to adhere to environmental laws and regulations in factories that produce waste water.

Promotion of Social and Environmental Standards in the Industry (PSES), a joint project of the governments of Bangladesh and Germany, implemented by Deutsche GesellschaftfürInternationaleZusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, in close cooperation with international buyer IKEA collated this 60-hours certificate course offered at the National Institute of Textile Engineering & Research (NITER). NITER is a constituent of the University of Dhaka, run by Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) under the Ministry of Textiles & Jute, Government of Bangladesh.

The textile sector alone has around 1700 washing, dyeing and finishing units that discharge waste water. This course is aimed at developing technical expertise in the area of industrial waste water management, specifically the Effluent Treatment Plants (ETP). Competency in the management of ETPs has been inadequate to meet national environmental standards, despite legal requirements, and lack of certified ETP personnel has become a major obstacle for prospective suppliers in Bangladesh to enter long-term business relationships with many prominent brands. The Government of Bangladesh also now encourages industries to have certified ETP personnel in order to renew environmental clearance certificates.

The curriculum of this course was developed as a joint initiative by GIZ and German Associations for Water, Wastewater and Waste (DWA).

A ceremony awarding certificates to the first batch of ETP operatorswas held on the 16th of September 2013 in Dhaka.

PSES is a Public Private Partnership in the context of the environmental and eco-efficiency component of the project. Magnus Schmid, Program Coordinator of PSES said, “This course is a first of its kind as to date there were no formal training courses available in Bangladesh. As a result, the industry employed staff in key environmental engineering positions with little or no expertise in their field of work. Our expectation is that these courses will enable factories to comply with environmental standards and improve ETP operations.”

Mr. Jahangir Alamin, President, Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) and Chairman, Governing Body, NITER said, “It is essential after incidents like the Rana Plaza collapse to ensure factories comply with new and existing environmental standards to avoid any crisis due to waste water pollution. I wish to encourage more factory owners to send their ETP operators for such courses, the second round of which is expected to start in October this year.”

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