Plan to get a passport? Make a toilet

SURKHET: Any plan to have your passport issued? Or are you considering throwing your hat into the ring for local representative?

If yes, make sure that your house has a toilet, for lack of it will disqualify you for any of these in Surkhet.

With its aim of making Surkhet district open-defecation free within six years, regional office of Drinking Water and Sanitation Monitoring and Inspection Department has come up with this noble idea.

In its concept paper, the office has made it mandatory for Surkhet residents to produce a certificate of their possessing a toilet in order to obtain a citizenship certificate or a passport.

Those failing to come up with that will need to commit that they would construct a toilet at the earliest. The certification would also be mandatory while filing candidacy in local elections.

Alternatively, such services will be provided to those without a toilet upon payment of extra charges.

As per the concept, the teachers and other government staffers will be inspected for their possessing the sanitation facility while District Education Office will provide schools with materials for their construction.

The support of political parties has also been sought to make the campaign a success. Local financial institutions will be encouraged to provide loan for the construction of toilets.

Senior Divisional Engineer Prem Krishna Shrestha said they would seek the support of other district-based organisations for the implementation of the programme.

Twenty-six per cent households are said to have toilets in the mid-western region, while the figure is 33 per cent for the district.

Local Development Officer Yagya Prasad Bhattarai said the implementation would begin at the grassroot level. The concept paper has been endorsed by political parties, NGOs and local authorities in Surkhet.