Dhangadi, September 14
Despite extending the deadline three times, Dipayal Silgadi Municipality of Doti district has yet to attain the status of Open Defaecation Free zone.
District Drinking Water and Sanitation Coordination Committee member Khagendra Singh said, “We have been unable to declare the entire district ODF zone within the stipulated date due to non-cooperation on the part of the locals. They have refused to build latrines in their houses.”
“As every other VDC of the district, except Dipayal Silgadi Municipality, was declared ODF zone within the deadline, preparations to declare the district an ODF zone have been expedited,” he added.
Similar is the situation in other districts where most of the municipalities have failed to comply with the standards set for a district to be declared an ODF zone.
In Kailali, the town areas have been a major challenge to the district’s plan to bag the ODF status.
“Often town areas are considered more developed and civilised, but in our case, most people from urban areas have failed to build toilets in their homes,” said Drinking Water and Sanitation Division Office Kailali Spokesperson Tarkaraj Joshi.
Further, according to Joshi, work in this regard have been extremely sluggish in Attariya and Lamki Chuha Municipalities of Kailali district. “Though some progress is reported in other municipalities, work towards bagging the ODF status has been sluggish in Attariya and Lamki Chuha municipalities,” Joshi said.
Of the six municipalities in Kailali, only Tikapur Municipality has been declared ODF zone so far.
Similarly, in Kanchanpur, the authorities’ plan to declare the district an ODF zone has hit a snag as four of the eight municipalities here have yet to gain the status individually.
The same problem persists in Darchula.
Districts like Achham, Bajura, Bajhang, Baitadi and Dadeldhura, however, have already garnered the ODF status.
Far-west Regional Monitoring and Supervision Office Dipayal Engineer Prakash Rawal, on his part, rued the delay in declaring the region ODF zone due to problems, mainly in the town areas.
“We have set the target of declaring the entire region ODF by the end of 2016, but the disappointing progress in the municipalities of many districts show that we might once again miss the deadline,” he said.
A version of this article appears in print on September 15, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.