Local levels told to make ODF campaign more effective

Kathmandu, June 6

The Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development has issued a circular to all local levels, directing them to make the Open Defecation Free campaign more effective.

In response to a letter of National Sanitation and Hygiene Coordination Committee under the Ministry of Water Supply and Sanitation, the circular issued by Environment Management Section of the MoFALD yesterday said, “In the present of context all 744 local governments already taking shape as per the federal set-up, the local levels are expected to take steps towards declaring at least the ward level an ODF zone.”

Following the internalisation of a National Sanitation and Hygiene Master Plan, 2011, Nepal has witnessed social momentum and improvement in sanitation with several rural municipalities, municipalities and districts being declared ODF. According to the MoWSS, coverage to basic sanitation facility has now reached 81 per cent of the population. It has already surpassed MDG target of 53 per cent.

The local levels have also been directed to build public toilets in municipalities and densely populated areas as lack of such public amenities is posing a hurdle to the ODF programme.

Shortage of public washrooms has become the single biggest problem for commuters in the capital and other large cities.

There are only a handful of public toilets to cater for Kathmandu Valley’s 2.5 million population. Most of the public washrooms are not only unhygienic but are not sensitive to children and differently-able persons, said a report of the MoWSS.

Urban centres need to prioritise investment in a mix of sanitation options to address the ever

Growing challenges of rapid urbanisation. The urban population of Nepal has reached to around 40 per cent with the recently declared new municipalities. This requires urgent

innovative financing approaches to incentivise municipalities and utilities to undertake policy and institutional reforms, invest in capacity building, city-wide sanitation

planning, and cost-effective approaches to ensure adequate sanitation service delivery, and livable cities for all, it said.