Rainwater - a sustainable untapped resource for businesses

In recent times, the country's ready-made garment factories and textile industries are leading in implementing green policies by introducing rainwater harvesting systems. Their sustainable approach to water management in business practices is creating much needed positive impacts in the environment, speakers said at a roundtable in Dhaka.

The high volume of water used in industry is an environmental concern because of their dependency on groundwater and it is time to act in ways that protect the long-term sustainability of the water supply needed for businesses to grow, said speakers.

The roundtable titled ‘Industrial Rainwater Harvesting- A Sustainable Approach to Water Management,’ organised jointly by WaterAid and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) was held at The Westin Dhaka on February 15, 2022, in the capital.

The programme aimed to initiate dialogue on the business case for industrial sustainable water management focusing on rainwater harvesting systems. The discussion explored potential opportunities, challenges, and solutions for sustainable supply chains and environmental impacts, as well as sharing examples of rainwater harvesting practices in garment factories.

Mr Faruque Hassan, President, of BGMEA, was present at the event as the Chief Guest.  

Ms Hasin Jahan, Country Director, WaterAid, graced the occasion as the Guest of Honor. Partha Hefaz Shaikh, Director, Policy & Advocacy, WaterAid, chaired the event and delivered the welcome note. Abrar Hossain Sayem, President, Bangladesh Apparel Youth Leaders Association – BAYLA was present among the guests.

Faruque Hassan, President, BGMEA, said, “BGMEA as a progressive association has shifted their perspective on sustainable water resource management and actively encouraging factories to adopt rainwater harvesting system. Industries need to emphasise rainwater and help to reduce the extraction and dependency of groundwater. 

Hasin Jahan, Country Director of WaterAid said, “To solve the impending water crisis that is depleting the groundwater rainwater should be everyone's business. An open rooftop with ample spacing can be a sustainable solution and can be paramount to solving the growing water needs for businesses. With the concerted effort from all sectors, rainwater harvesting can fulfil the basic requirement of water and help protect our scarce water resources. WaterAid is committed to working with businesses and the private sector to fast-track efforts towards water security and environment”

Abrar Hossain Sayem, President, Bangladesh Apparel Youth Leaders Association – BAYLA, “Many smart industries put their footprint in the sustainability and water-saving process. The industries are adopting rainwater harvesting to reduce the dependency on groundwater to tackle future catastrophes. Young people are the potential drivers for the economic and social progress of the country. So, it is essential to promote RWH among the youth so that they can become youth advocates for RWH and make a positive impact to reduce water crises in the future.

Apart from the guests, development partners, national business firms, and supply chain stakeholders, representatives from media and academia participated in the event.

The roundtable discussion came to an end with handing of BGMEA’s sustainability report to Hasin Jahan and the distribution of certificates among rainwater harvesting professionals who have trained as part of WaterAid and ITN-BUET collaboration.

Photo Courtesy: WaterAid Bangladesh

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