GWP SAS appoints its new Chairperson

The Global Water Partnership South Asia (GWP SAS) Regional Council announced the appointment of Dr Khondaker Azharul Haq as the GWP SAS Chairperson in effective of 1 January 2019.

Dr Haq has over 40 years of experience in the water sector out of which nearly 30 years were in senior managerial level positions in both national and international organisations. These include Head of Agriculture Engineering Division of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, Gazipur; Member Director (Agriculture Engineering), Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council; Member Director (Irrigation) Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation; Irrigation Specialist at International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Sri Lanka and Managing Director of Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA). Dr Haq joined Bangladesh Water Partnership (BWP), one of the Country Water Partnerships of GWP since its inception in 1998 and currently holding BWP’s President’s position.

With his background as an Agricultural Engineer, Dr Haq has vigorously engaged on water supply and sanitation sector projects for the last 14 years. While completing seven lucky years with Dhaka WASA he was able to contribute to sustainable water supply projects by successfully constructing the Saidabad Water Treatment Plant even ahead of scheduled time and with lesser cost against the planned budget. The Project for Balancing, Modernization, Rehabilitation and Expansion of the Chandnighat Water Treatment Plant was completed during his tenure and initiated outsourcing of revenue billing and collection which significantly increased Dhaka WASA’s revenue collection. These achievements led to reduce the gap between water demand and supply in Dhaka. Water Supply for the urban poor, especially those living in the slums was expanded with the engagement of local NGOs. Most importantly the water logging in the city during the monsoonal seasons was eased to a considerable extent. While working as an international consultant, he worked in Jorden as an Irrigation Specialist for the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and as a Transitional Manager to oversee transition of Kathmandu Water Supply from public sector to a public private partnership appointed by ADB.

In 2005, ADB honoured him by recognising him as a “Water Champion” in Asia for his contribution to the water supply and sanitation sector especially to the urban poor.

In accepting the position, Dr Haq is passionate about GWP’s unique network which provides a credible platform to local to global reach and to change the way water is managed. “I am honoured and humbled by the opportunity given to serve Global Water Partnership South Asia, in its mission to safeguard a water secure South Asia. With growing risks of climate change, water pollution and groundwater exploitation in South Asia, we need to look for muti-sectoral approach by harnessing the common values and interests of different stakeholders prior to take decisions on the limited resources. We should consider managing existing knowledge and bringing new knowledge and technologies around water and connect with the network of partners across all SDGs”

He also thanked the outgoing Chairperson, Dr Lam Dorji for sailing the GWP SAS ship smoothly for the last three years even at harsh conditions and handing over it to him safely. He said, “All this was possible due to Dr Dorji’s commitment towards GWP’s common goals and his perseverance on core functions of the region”.

Dr Haq holds a PhD in Engineering from University of California, MSc in Agricultural Engineering from University of Hawaii, Honolulu and BSc in Agricultural Engineering from Pakistan Agricultural University, Faisalabad.