In 2009 Masjid Council worked for BRAC to monitor the  Religious-Institution based Component of its water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) program. Under the program Masjid Council –  

  • Developed monitoring and follow-up tools with relevant references in line with WASH program documents.
  • Recruited Monitoring Officers and Associates as per selection criteria mentioned in the project documents.
  • Conducted monitoring in the identified mosques of 140 upazilla s  in 40 districts.

Earlier in 2007 and 2008  Masjid Council  developed sermon guide comprising religious references blended with scientific information and developed a cadre of 200 leading imams as master trainers, who in turn, provided training to about 19,000 general imams in 40 WASH districts. These Imams delivered the WASH sermon in Friday congregations. In 2009 Masjid council monitored the quality of sermon delivery. The WASH program itself ensures access to sanitation services to 17.6 million people, hygiene education to 37.5 million people and safe water services to 8.5 million people to check incidence of morbidity and mortality in the rural areas.

Like Masjid Council’s other development programs, viz, HIV prevention, Leaders of Influence (LOI), this program is another example where social mobilization utilizing faith channels has been proved to be effective. Here are the major observations from the project:

  • Misconceptions of the trained  Imams/khatibs  about BRAC removed.
  • Previously they were unwilling to assist BRAC, but now mentally prepared to continue assisting or cooperating with them.
  • They feel proud to work for the betterment of humanity. They are thankful to BRAC as well as Masjid Council.
  • Mass people have taken it gladly   that the religious leaders are providing sermon in cooperation with BRAC and Masjid Council.
  • As a result of WASH intervention, people no more break the water seal of the sanitary latrine.
  • As a result of WASH intervention (involvement of  Imams ), number of latrines increased, which in turn, contribute to save women from being teased and raped.
  • Musullis  (general people who say prayer in the mosque) praise the program. This is clearly understood during Musulli  Interview.
  • Imams  are being thanked by the people for discussing WASH issues.
  • This type of work (WASH in the light of Islam) should be continued.

Similar awareness-building programs need to be carried on by the leaders of other faiths (such as Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism etc.).

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