Rautahat VDCs declared Open Defaecation Free zone sans toilets

Rautahat, January 4

Most of the VDCs of Rautahat have been declared open defaecation free zone without meeting the basic criteria.

Around 40 per cent of households in 21 VDCs including Banjaraha, Dipahi, Dhamaura were declared open defaecation free zone without any latrine.

Sadbhawana Party central member and resident of ODF Dhamaura VDC said Rautahat was not likely to meet its target for declaring the district open defecation free zone within this fiscal.

Dipahi VDC was announced ODF zone with the slogan ‘One house, one toilet’ just a week ago. Surprisingly, when a group of journalists made a field visit, most of the houses were without latrines.

Of the 48 houses monitored in Dipahi, only seven families were found to have built toilets. With Plan International’s financial assistance, the organisation Abhiyan Nepal had started work to construct one toilet in every household. Locals charged Abhiyan Nepal with negligence.

Similarly, Banjaraha VDC on the border with India was declared open defaecation free zone 11 days ago. Majority of households there are without toilets.

The concerned agencies responsible for monitoring the work have maintained silence. Dalits alleged that monitors had inspected the toilets cemented houses of some rich people only.

Likewise, Dhamaura VDC was declared open defecation free zone last year. Nevertheless, haphazard defecation at Sisawa and Harsa, among other places of the VDC, had given a hard time to pedestrians, Raj Kumar Das, a local complained.

Das argued that extreme negligence while declaring the VDC an ODF zone without meeting the basic criteria had led to the present situation.

Drinking Water and Sanitation Division Office Rautahat Chief Anil Keshari, however, claimed that the VDCs were declared ODF only after submission of report following field observation of the VDCs.