Within three years, Nepal has to upgrade sanitation facilities by 15 per cent to achieve its three years interim plan 2010-11.
The interim plan has targeted providing sanitation facilities to 65 per cent of the country’s population by the end of three years. At present, around 49.2 per cent Nepali population have access to sanitation facilities.
Nepal marked the 11th National Sanitation Week (5-11 June 2010) with the theme ‘role of local bodies for sanitation promotion’.
Kamal Adhikari, sociologist at Department of Water Supply and Sewerage (DWSS) said local bodies were allocating budgets for the construction of toilets at present.
Nepal has to ensure 53 per cent toilet coverage by 2015 to achieve the sanitation Millennium Development Goal. The government has also targeted to provide sanitation access to all by 2017, which needs an annual investment of NRs 7.5 billion [US$ .
According to DWSS, the present trend of toilet construction is 180,000 toilets per year, which is 493 per day. The government is required to almost double the current rate of the latrine construction to achieve the goal. Ten toilets should be constructed every month in each of the VDCs for the purpose.
Informing that they have decentralised the awareness programme this year, Adhikari assured that the government could achieve its goal with the present trend of toilet construction. “The government is adopting standalone sanitation programme, reducing open deficit and including sanitation under the water supply project to achieve the goal within time,” he said.
The 2006 National Demographic and Health Survey conducted by the Ministry of Health and Population, showed that inadequate access to water and sanitation was responsible for 10,500 child deaths every year in Nepal.
There were few reports of National Sanitation Week activities, at least in the English-language media in Nepal.
In Dang, the District Water Supply and Sanitation Division Office launched a ‘One House One Toilet’ campaign that aims to declare Dang an open defecation free district before2014.
The District Water Supply and Sanitation Division Office in Tanahun celebrated National Sanitation Week by launching programmes to declare Risti and Chipchipe VDCs free from open defecation, promoting and washing and by testing water quality in the VDCs, which have been declared open defecation free zones. Other activities included the distribution of 10 filters under the Western Nepal Rural Water Supply Project, displaying banners and posters featuring sanitation messages and organising a secondary level essay competition on sanitation.
Source: Himalayan Times, 05 Jun 2010 ; Rajdhani / NGO Forum, 04 Jun 2010 ; Annapurna Post / NGO Forum, 27 May 2010