Waterborne diseases kill 13,000 kids a year

Kathmandu, November 19:

Over 13,000 children die of waterborne diseases in Nepal every year. The root cause of these casualties, equivalent to 65 plane crashes, is lack of toilets in the homes of these children.

“As many as 13,000 children die every year in our country because of waterborne diseases. These deaths can be curbed by building a toilet in every household. The government and non-governmental organisations have not made enough efforts towards this end,” said Umesh Pandey, coordinator of the Nepal chapter of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council.

He was addressing an interaction organised to mark the World Toilet Day (WTD). The practice of celebrating the WTD started from Singapore in 2001.

We keep dreaming of cutting to half the number of people, who lack basic sanitation, by 2015, but we don’t pay attention to small things that can make a difference, he said. Citing government data, he said only 49 per cent of total schools in the country have toilets.

Senior comedian Madan Krishna Shrestha said infrastructure building and awareness campaign should go side by side.