30pc Nepalis defecate out in open

  • world toilet day
- PRAGATI SHAHI, Kathmandu
30pc Nepalis defecate out in open

Nov 19, 2014-

As many as 7.95 million Nepalis still defecate in the open such as bushes and field, according to a study conducted by the Department of Water, Supply and Sanitation.

According to its report, 30 percent of the total 24.5 million people lack access to toilet--a basic facility. Poor sanitation and unsafe water cause diarrhoea, leading to around 8,000 deaths of children below five each year.

Only 15 of the 75 districts have been declared open defecation-free. The ODF situation requires semi-structured toilets to meet the sanitation target. Among the 3,915 VDCs, 915 (24 percent) have been declared ODF.

“Over the years, we have achieved substantial progress in sanitation targets and are on way to meeting the universal access to basic sanitation goal by 2017,” said Abadh Kishor Mishra, former official with the Ministry of Urban Development who has been involved in the sanitation movement since its inception in the early 1990s.

According to him, the major constraint in improving the access is the difficulty getting the people to use toilet and realise the importance of sanitation. “It took more than two decades to gain some progress in national sanitation coverage from 6 percent in 1990 to 70 percent in 2014,” said Mishra. Meeting the goal in eight Tarai districts would be a feat as the areas confront poor awareness and poor governance.

The Saarc region as a whole lags behind in sanitation as over 675 million people in South Asia still practise open defecation. The Saarc Human Resource Development Centre blames poor governance, political interference in identifying beneficiaries, lack of monitoring and evaluation for the situation.

Published: 20-11-2014 10:50

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