Valley lacks adequate, clean public toilets

Kathmandu, October 1

As the population in Kathmandu continues to rise, the need for public toilets is bound to increase with it. However, not only are there very few public toilets in the city, the toilets are very unsanitary and next to impossible to use.

According to 2011 census, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City has a population of 1,003,285 and is spread over an area of 49.45 square kilometres. For the entire population, there are only 16 public toilets available in the city.

A pedestrain Sahayog Ranjit said, “It is very difficult to find public restrooms in the city. Even when we do, the restrooms are extremely unsanitary and not fit for use. Public toilets near bus parks are the most unsanitary. But people have no option but to use them to relieve themselves.” Kathmandu has been declared as an open defecation free zone, but sanitation remains a big problem in the city. Often, people resort to urinating in the open for lack of better alternatives.

Another pedestrian Bikal Manandhar claimed that the public would be willing to pay for clean public restrooms if the option were available. Manandhar said when he feels the need to relieve himself, he resorts to visiting hospitals or government offices.

Spokesperson of  KMC Gyanandra Karki said, “Kathmandu has been declared ODF zone for many years now, but a proper restroom is still a luxury in the city. We cannot conduct sanitation awareness programmes unless we can provide sanitary public restrooms.