UN lauds Nepal’s progress in toilet coverage
The United Nations Friday congratulated the government of Nepal as it took another step toward putting a toilet in every household and every public school and institution in a ceremony attended by the Prime Minister, top government officials and partners.
"Progress in providing toilets has been enormous. In just one year, from 2011 – 2012, UNICEF recorded an increase of 19 per cent toilet coverage. Today, the total coverage in the country is 62," UNICEF said in a statement.
“The power of whole communities to take a collective decision to regain their pride and dignity by stopping open defecation and cleaning up their immediate living environments,” said Hanaa Singer, UNICEF Nepal Representative. “Secondly it’s the strong government leadership at all levels and unified political support based on a strong joint vision on how to trigger and sustain these school and community led initiatives.”
The plan the government signed on to, the MDG Acceleration Framework for Sanitation, came about in response to the need to speed up the country toward meeting the Millennium Development Goal on sanitation. One example of the challenges is the inequity apparent in the Census data that shows that eight districts in the poorest part of the country have less than 30 per cent toilet coverage, whereas there are 14 districts that have more than 80 per cent coverage.
The action plan sets out three goals which includes government resolution to prohibit defecation will be prohibited and stop subsidies to private households, but special support will be given to the ultra-poor.
“Open defecation is challenging in some parts of Nepal, and 38 per cent of people still practice open defecation,” said the Prime Minister Babu Ram Bhattarai, adding, “The government’s target for the nation is to be defecation free and with access to drinking water by 2017.” He added that the goal can be achieved with the collaboration from donors and other partners. Nepalnews.com