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Issue 43
, 2013
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ASIAN LEAD PAINT ELIMINATION WORKSHOP ,Sri Lanka (15th to19th May, 2013)

By: Toxics Link, Source: Toxics Link, Date: , 2013

The second workshop of the seven-nation EU-SWITCH Asia Lead Paint Elimination Project was held from 15th to 19th May, 2013 in Sri Lanka. The workshop aimed at sharing experiences during the first year of the project by the seven partner countries (India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia).

The first day of the workshop was mainly dedicated to communication activities and social media. The communication officers of all the partner countries shared their strategies and communication tools adapted in their respective countries. While sharing the information, it was observed that besides India and Bangladesh, not many were using the social media as a tool to reach out to the people. Both the countries shared their experiences on social media networks after which Ms. Valerie Denney from IPEN made a presentation emphasizing on the importance of social media.

The technical officers of each country shared the overall project progress in their respective countries which was followed by a discussion with the group-at-large. This was followed by a session on financial management in the second year by Martin Salmonsson from IPEN. The main points discussed were budget headings under partner budgets and costs, the budget lines can cover. The second financial session was on Co-finance which emphasized on the point that the EU will sponsor a maximum of 77.84% of the total projects’ eligible costs. The need for co-finance was to gain independence and ownership of the project.

During experience sharing, it was observed that all the partner organizations were on track with the EU work plan and were successfully moving towards the short term goals of the project. However, the modes to reach these goals varied from country to country taking in consideration the needs and situations of their respective countries.

Going by the project plan, the collected paint samples are already on their way to the labs for testing. Once the results are out, the next important step would be to do a media release. Toxics Link has done a few report releases, therefore, the organisation was asked to share their experiences of report releases and media follow up thereafter.

Perry Gottesfeld from OK International held a session on lead dust sampling and soil testing. The gathering was taught why and how to do lead dust sampling and soil testing. The IPEN team distributed the sampling kits after which everyone was asked to participate in the practical session for dust sampling.

During prior conversations and experience sharing it was noticed that all the countries had been sharing a roadblock while contacting small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Thus it had been decided to hold a session on re-strategizing approach to SMEs. This discussion was headed by project advisors Jack Weinberg and Scott Clark from IPEN.

On the last day of the workshop, the group discussed the upcoming International lead poisoning prevention week to be held from 20th to 26th October 2013 by Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paints.