The inception meeting with Public Health and Engineering Division (PHED), Department of Public Health, Ministry of Health was organized by RSPN on 30th September, 2014 in RSPN’s Board Room, Kawajangsa, Thimphu. It is a part of SAARC Development Fund (SDF) Secretariat funded project on “Strengthening Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Services in Bhutan” (WASH).

Two Officials from PHED and 5 officials of RSPN attended the meeting. It was aimed at presenting the detail project profile, garner support, seek input and suggestion and for collaboration to avoid duplication and to supplement the government in WASH related program in the country.

Mr. Tsheten Dorji, the project officer, presented the details of the project including the objectives and expected outputs and outcomes of project activities. He emphasized that the meeting is a continuation to the earlier two formal rounds of meetings with PHED officials for proper collaboration with the concerned division  and to share potential constraints and changes that may be required for refinement. He also pointed out that since the project is WASH related, the project would work towards supplementing the government by using the government (MoH) expertise and use majority of the existing materials and resources of the government following the government norms and standards.

Based on the above presentation, thorough discussions were held, and the officials made recommendations and suggestion for the further refinement. They also expressed their willingness for collaboration, ensured to share information and render support while implementing the activities. The resolutions of the inception meeting were as follows:

  • PHED welcomed RSPN’s earlier courtesy visits and the inception meeting and they considered the visits and meeting as very important whereby they get to know what different agencies are doing on WASH related program in the country for the benefit of the rural communities.
  • PHED considered visits and meetings can also keep inform and update on WASH related program in the country so that they can link with NGOs, CBOs and thereby can avoid from duplication and creating controversy among different agencies.
  • PHED emphasized on the importance of considering the country’s policies and plans while implementing any activities and the importance of keeping the stakeholders well informed, which are found to be the important milestones leading to success of any project.
  • PHED supports RSPN’s proposal and expressed their willingness to collaborate and PHED will render any kind of support to RSPN while implementing the project activities.
  • WASH Project Officer of RSPN will segregate and breakdown the activities under Pre-implementation Part, based on the project location, in close consultation with officials from PHED by mid of October, 2014.
  • RSPN will write to PHED for the nomination of two focal persons for this project.
  • RSPN will plan for the project inception meeting with Samtse District together with the inception meeting of PHED.
  • RSPN will share the Draft Minutes with PHED by second week of October, 2014 for comments and finalization.

RSPN is in the process of implementing a SDF funded project in Samtse District from 2014 through 2016. The project is a regional project and the participating countries are  Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka aims in “Improving the quality of life of rural people by providing safe, convenient and sustainable water, sanitation services and better hygiene”.

Reported by: Tsheten Dorji, Project Officer