Nepal | June 02, 2020

Public toilets of no use to visually impaired

Rastriya Samachar Samiti
Share Now:

Kathmandu, November 19

As the country marked World Toilet Day today, the issue of public toilets and lack thereof in the capital as well as other major cities and towns was highlighted at a programme here.

Without a doubt this remains an even bigger challenge for individuals with special needs since the existing public toilets are not disabled-friendly, as the following conversation proves:

“Is there a toilet nearby? I need to urinate,” Ram Ayer, who is blind, asks a man on the street.

“I don’t know. Find your way to an area where it is stinking the most. May be there is a toilet there,” replies the man.

For Ayer,  finding a toilet in Kathmandu, as he shared in the programme is a daily challenge. Ayer is studying MA sociology/anthropology at the Ratna Rajya Laxmi Campus located at the Exhibition Road.

“I called one of my friends from my mobile phone and asked him to come and help me explaining my predicament after getting the cold shoulder from the person I asked. Thank god, my friend came and I found a toilet with his help,” he said. Many other participants with disabilities including the visually impaired shared similar experiences at the programme organised by the Guthi, Action Aid and Gawali to commemorate World Toilet Day 2016.

As per the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, there are 84 public toilets in Kathmandu which has  a budget of Rs 20 million for keeping them clean.

Tulasa Lama, a blind woman and a student, said, “Even in dire emergencies we are able to relieve ourselves only when we reach home or college.” She studies MA gender studies at a private college in Naya Baneshwar.

“Once I went into a public toilet located ahead of Sahid Gate, with the help of a friend. When I went inside, I nearly slipped. I exited without urinating. I relieved myself after I got home,” Lama said.

Ironically enough, even the Nepal Association for the Welfare of the Blind, Tripureshwor, established for the welfare of visually-impaired people, does not have a visually impaired-friendly toilet.

Laxmishwor Mahato, who plays musical instrument at a pub in Chabahil, said, “People with full vision normally overlook our requirements and thus do not build disabled-friendly toilets. How does it help us?”

A study report of public toilets carried out in Kathmandu Valley shows that 41 per cent public toilets have no water facility. The government has declared full provision of clean drinking water and sanitation facility to all by the end of 2017. According to the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, only 74 per cent people have access to drinking water and sanitation.

Senior Programme Officer of Water Aid, Shikha Shrestha, said that even today, three out of 10 people are compelled to defecate in the open. “Special attention should be paid to make public toilets of Kathmandu Valley disabled-friendly.”

Programme Manager of Guthi, Prakash Amatya, said till date, Kathmandu Metropolitan City has neither been able to work on improving the condition of public toilets nor build more inclusive toilet facilities catering to the disabled.


A version of this article appears in print on November 20, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

People opting to sanitise homes, office spaces as COVID-19 infections keep rising everyday 

Kathmandu Handsanitisers, gloves and masks were our first shield of protection against the spread of coronavirus. And now people have started sanitising their homes and offices as a precautionary measure as infections keep increasing nationwide.   Muna Thapa had never sanitised her Read More...

Dailekh reels under scarcity of tests as people return to district in thousands

KATHMANDU: As thousands of people are returning home to Dailekh from India, the district faces a shortage of PCR tests, increasing the risk of widespread transmission of Covid-19 among the locals. Returnees from India, who are placed in various quarantine facilities in Dailekh district, are at a Read More...

25 people discharged from Bhim Hospital in Bhairahawa

BUTWAL: Twenty-five people were sent home from Bhim hospital in Bhairahawa after recovering from Covid-19, on Monday. Among those discharged are 22 men and three women, including a 4-year-old and a 10-year-old girl. Of the 25, 10 are from Gaidahawa Rural Municipality -- including three women f Read More...

Three more COVID-19 positive cases identified in Nawalpur

NAWALPUR: As many as three new cases of coronavirus infection have been reported in Nawalpur district today. Of the newly infected, two persons aged 22 and 36 are from Kawasoti-1 and 12 respectively, while the third person, aged 14, is from Binayi Tribeni Rural Municipality-3. They had recently r Read More...

India climbs to 7th biggest outbreak in world

NEW DELHI: India has registered 230 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing its total to 5,394 as the country begins its three-stage reopening on Monday. The lockdown is being eased in most places except for the containment zones now isolated due to coronavirus outbreaks. The Health Ministry sai Read More...

Two construction workers swept away by flood in Kailali

DHANGADHI: Two persons were swept away by the flooded river caused by the incessant rainfall, in Chure Rural Municipality-1 of Kailali district, on Sunday night. Police have identified the deceased as Kamal Thapa (45) and Gopal BK (24) both of Krishnapur Municipality-4 in Kanchanpur district, inf Read More...

UN forced to cut aid to Yemen, even as virus increases need

CAIRO: Aid organizations are making an urgent plea for funding to shore up their operations in war-torn Yemen, saying they have already been forced to stop some of their work even as the coronavirus rips through the country. Some 75% of UN programs in Yemen have had to shut their doors or reduce Read More...

Armenian PM Pashinyan tests positive for coronavirus

YEREVAN: Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Monday said he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, speaking during a Facebook live video. “I didn’t have any symptoms, I decided to take a test as I was planning to visit the frontline”, said Pashinyan, adding that his whole fam Read More...