43pc of Nepal’s urban population lacks access to toilet, says report

Kathmandu, November 18

Despite progress, more than 43 per cent of Nepal’s urban population, particularly marginalised and vulnerable groups, has no access to toilet, meaning many have no choice but to defecate in the open, says a report.

The report ‘Overflowing Cities: The State of the World Toilets’ published by Water Aid looks at the problem of urban sanitation and the health threats to our world, as the UN predicts by 2050 two-thirds of the global population will live in towns and cities.

To mark World Toilet Day, WaterAid Nepal has called on the government to keep its promise of delivering universal access to sanitation following new analysis ranking it second worst in Asia for having the greatest percentage of urban dwellers living without safe, private toilets.

The report highlights the challenges facing 700 million urban dwellers around the world living without sanitation. Unsafe, inaccessible and shared common toilets with no running water are a common problem.

According to the report, the high population density of urban areas means that diseases spread fast in the absence of good sanitation. One child dies every two minutes from diarrhoeal diseases caused by dirty water, poor sanitation and lack of hygiene.

Globally 159 million children under the age of five years have their physical and cognitive development stunted; many of such cases are caused from repeated bouts of diarrhoea attributed to dirty water, poor sanitation and lack of hygiene.

Tripti Rai, country representative for WaterAid Nepal, said, “Diseases like cholera or typhoid can spread faster without proper sanitation and hygiene practices and an outbreak found in an informal settlement can quickly become a national or international epidemic.

This World Toilet Day, we are calling on national leaders to deliver on their promises to meet the UN’s Global Goal 6 to bring water and sanitation to all, because everyone – no matter where they live – deserves affordable access to these life essentials.”