Friday, May 31, 2024

Stockholm Junior Water Prize Bangladesh award ceremony held

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize Bangladesh (SJWPBD) Award Ceremony 2024, held on 10 May from 3:30pm to 5:00pm, at Ascott Palace, Baridhara, Dhaka, Bangladesh, dazzled audiences as it showcased the groundbreaking solutions crafted by the brilliant young minds of Bangladesh to tackle pressing water-related challenges.

Set against the backdrop of a prestigious venue in Dhaka, the event was an extraordinary celebration of talent, innovation, and dedication.

Since its inception in September of the previous year, the competition has attracted an overwhelming response, with 168 teams registering to participate.

These teams, composed of individuals aged between 15 and 20, brought forth their ingenuity and passion to confront water scarcity and pollution head-on. After a rigorous selection process, 11 project papers were chosen for the final stage from 46 submissions, outshining the competition with their creativity and effectiveness. The winners of this distinguished competition will represent Bangladesh at the ‘Stockholm Junior Water Prize; in Stockholm, Sweden, this August, joining peers from 40+ other nations.

During the ceremony, the finalists showcased their innovative solutions, ranging from locally-sourced water filtration systems to grassroots awareness campaigns. The winners not only demonstrated exceptional creativity but also exhibited a profound commitment to sustainable water management.

In an engaging presentation, the spotlight shone on the House of Volunteers (HOV), unveiling their impactful initiatives. Through a captivating video, their transformative wash initiatives took centre stage, inspiring viewers with their dedication to making a difference.

And finally gratitude is shown to the partners of the wash initiatives of HOV.

Following suit, the stage shifted to the remarkable journey of SJWPBD (Stockholm Junior Water Prize Bangladesh). With a compelling narrative, their story unfolded, showcasing their passion and innovation in addressing water challenges. Through an immersive video, their the journey came to life, leaving a lasting impression on all who witnessed it.

The guests graced the occasion with their eloquent addresses, each delivering a powerful message that resonated with the audience.

Dr. Tanvir Ahmed, Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, and Director, ITN said it was an enormous opportunity for youngsters at the very beginning of their lives, and he added that the previous 6-7 months were a reward in itself for them.

Dr. Mohidus Samad Khan, Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, BUET and Industry Expert, Senior Fellow, ESTex Foundation, Ms. Benedicte Ginestet, Project Manager- Water and Sanitation, Agence Francaise de Development also delivered a valuable speech.

In a moment of inspiration, the best ambassador stepped into the spotlight, their words ringing with sincerity and passion.

The ceremony was graced by esteemed guests, including the chief guest, Her Excellency Ms. Alexandra Berg Von Linde- Ambassador, Embassy of Sweden in Dhaka and the special guests Ms. Hasin Jahan, Country Director, WaterAid Bangladesh & Mr. Raphael Nwozor-Office in Charge of WASH Chief, UNICEF Bangladesh whose inspiring words resonated deeply with the young innovators.

Mr. Raphael Nwozor, WASH Manager, OIC of WASH Chief, UNICEF Bangladesh gave his valuable speech mentioning present context of climate change, with various water-related and sanitation problems, the innovative projects done by the participants would make a significant change.

Special recognition was also bestowed upon Ms. Hasin Jahan and the Chief of WASH Bangladesh, UNICEF, for their tireless efforts in advancing water and sanitation initiatives.

She said, It’s not that important to win all the time, but what is important is to embrace roles like leadership and many others.

And the chief guest, Ms. Alexandra Berg von Linde, the Swedish Ambassador, shared her compelling vision for a sustainable water future, underscoring the global significance of their endeavours.

The Student Ambassador Programme (SAP) was lauded for its impactful contributions. Amongst the fervour, the announcement of the programs best ambassador electrified the audience. And the special guest Ms. Hasin Jahan to hand over the crest to the best ambassador.

Furthermore, young mentor pool of the SJWPBD-2024 were given a note of gratitude just before giving medals to the finalists, recognizing their invaluable guidance and support throughout the competition.

In a moment of prestigious recognition, esteemed title guests graced the stage to personally award medals to the exceptional finalists of the 2024 Stockholm Junior Water Prize Bangladesh (SJWPBD).

Three exceptional project ideas, SAPH.Ai by A.Z.M. Emtenan Kabir and Abrar Abir, PLASMA RIDER by Zabeer Zarif Akhter, and Aquatic Avenger 2.0 by Alman Sikder from SJWPBD 2024, were awarded ‘Seed funding for field-level demonstration’. Dr.Tanvir Ahmed announced the projects that were awarded seed funding and the title guests handed over the checks to the fund winners.This fund will help to take these projects forward and inspire them to continue their impactful work. Moreover, it aligns with their commitment to fostering innovation and driving positive change through sustainable water management.

In a climactic moment of the ceremony, the national champion of the 2024 SJWPBD was unveiled by lead jury, Dr. Tanvir Ahmed. And the title guests including Chief Guest Ms. Alexandra Berg von Linde, Ambassador of the Embassy of Sweden, and Special Guests Ms. Hasin Jahan, Country Director of WaterAid Bangladesh, and Mr. Raphael Nwozor, WASH Manager at UNICEF Bangladesh handed over the medal, crest and dummy check to the champion.

In a stirring address echoing through the halls of the ceremony, the National Champion of the 2024 Stockholm Junior Water Prize Bangladesh (SJWPBD) took the stage. It was a moment of triumph, marking not only their personal achievement but also a commitment to the greater cause of safeguarding our planet’s most precious resource for generations to come. And hopefully the national champion will represent Bangladesh on the international stage in a beautiful manner.

In a gesture of profound appreciation, Sajedul Hoq, President of the House of Volunteers Foundation Bangladesh, handed over memento of honour to our esteemed Chief Guest and Special Guests. The memento served as a symbol of acknowledgment for their invaluable contribution to the event, underscoring the spirit of collaboration and shared commitment to making a positive impact.

The event culminated with a compelling address by Sajedul Hoq, President of the House of Volunteers Foundation Bangladesh. His words resonated with a sense of accomplishment and gratitude, encapsulating the spirit of unity and purpose that defined the occasion.

The SJWPBD Award Ceremony 2024 was intricately coordinated by the national organiser, the House of Volunteers (HOV), officially designated by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). This collaborative undertaking engaged esteemed partners, including co-organiser WaterAid Bangladesh, strategic allies UNICEF, and ITN-BUET, with crucial technical support rendered by the esteemed technical partner ESTex and media support by The Business Standard. – Press release

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