High level German delegation visits Kochi- the city on the way to achieve Swachh Bharat Mission goals

GIZ India and KfW have been jointly supporting the Government of Kerala and Kochi Municipal Corporation to improve sanitation and the water sector. A high level German delegation led by the Head of South Asia Division, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Dr. Wolfram Klein, Mr. Heiko Warnken, Head of Economic Cooperation and Development, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in India; Mrs. Yasmin Tawfik, Regional Manager, KfW; and Dr. Wolfgang Hannig, Country Director, GIZ-India, visited initiatives in the city to understand processes and concept. One such visit was to Mattancherry, a densely congested area that faces many challenges particularly of adequate sanitation and water services. Several innovative solutions that are expected to effectively address the issues, are being looked at.

At the conference held as part of the visit, Dr. Wolfram Klein stated, “The city has always been on the radar of international deliberations, and it is impressive to see the steps taken by the state government and the government bodies of the city to improve its condition, whether it is sanitation services or tourism.”

Dr. K. Vasuki, Executive Director, Suchitwa Mission and Mr. Ajith Patil, Managing Director, Kerala Water Authority, emphasised on the aspect of operation and maintenance of the services and the Urban Local Body’s inability to handle growing problems. Both officials have sought capacity building of local government officials in planning, system development for operation and maintenance as a spin-off of the international cooperation.

Chief guest at the event, honorable mayor of Kochi, Mr. Tonny Chammani said, “It is important that the viability of such a non-conventional and decentralised form of sewerage be assessed.” He added that the local administration is working towards inclusion in the sanitation sector and reaching out with best services.

(Seen in the picture : Mr. Tonny Chammani addressing the gathering. Sitting from L to R : Dr. K Vasuki, Mr. Ajit Patil, Dr. Wolfram Klein, Dr. Wolfgang Hannig, Mr. Heiko Warnken)