Kathmandu, April 22
Almost 50 per cent of the total number of schools that were damaged in the 2015 earthquakes have been reconstructed so far. However, it seems that the authorities concerned have neglected the issue of sanitation and hygiene while reconstructing schools.
Majority of the school buildings that have been reconstructed so far lack toilet facilities.
A total of 7,923 school buildings were damaged by the 2015 earthquakes. Of them, 4,476 school buildings have already been constructed by the Central Level Project Implementation Unit, the body entrusted with reconstructing schools damaged in the 2015 earthquakes. But many of them lack toilets and other amenities.
The Department of Education, Asian Development Bank, the government of China, the government of India and JICA had provided financial support for reconstruction of schools in Nepal,
As many as 17 model school buildings constructed by Nepal Reconstruction Authority, 236 by JICA, 162 by ADB, 70 by the government of India and seven schools by China have no toilets.
“Due to lack of budget, we have not been able to construct toilets,” said, Project Director of CLPIU Ima Narayan Shrestha. “We do not have enough budget even for constructing school buildings that’s why we have not constructed toilets. We will construct toilets in the schools from the fiscal 2019-20.
CLPIU has planned to construct 1,350 toilets in the fiscal 2019, 1,350 toilets in 2020 and 1,000 in 2021.
As soon as we get budget, we will provide the budget to schools that have school buildings, but lack toilets.
Speaking to THT, he said there were toilets in the designs and drawings of the school buildings, but due to budget crunch they prioritised classrooms. CLPIU still requires Rs 119 billion for construction of school buildings.
A version of this article appears in print on April 23, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.