Sorry State Of Sanitation

News headlines are making rounds that the nation is soon going to be declared completely free from defecation but there are still contradictions and impediments to hope in this regard. There are simply no enough toilets in place, both public and private. This inadequacy is glaringly apparent in the villages and urban areas alike. Regarding the urban areas, the capital Kathmandu is not in a satisfactory state as it has failed to construct and operate adequate number of public lavatories in major public places. A few that exist are in stinking and filthy condition. What is more, they charge money for paying call of nature. The lavatory attendants seem to be stationed there just to collect money and doing nothing to keep the toilets clean.

Some public toilets built by ward offices of Kathmandu Metropolitan City are hidden in unfrequented corners where public presence is thin. One such toilet is located on the bank of the Bishnumati River and the location is almost out of public view. The Kathmandu Durbar Square charges hefty amounts from foreign visitors at entry but concerned authorities have not bothered to build a public lavatory at this cultural and tourist hub. As the nation is bracing to mark next year as Visit Nepal Year 2020, such a state of affairs will not send a positive message to the rest of the world. Almost every visitor appreciates the beauty of Nepal but expresses his/her exceptional negative view about the unmanaged waste and the lack of public toilets.

Some households in the capital city are still said to have lacked toilets. If such a sorry condition prevails in the political nerve centre of the country, one should not be surprised at rural backwardness in terms of sanitation, safe water and basic hygiene. On the brighter side, Nepal has made a good progress in recent years in water and sanitation front, but much remains to be done to make the nation open defecation free. The reluctance to build sufficient number of public toilets in the most needed places is the dominant problem. Open defecation remains the major cause of water pollution and frequent outbreak of killer water borne diseases like cholera, typhoid and jaundice.

In this regard, this daily published a news report on Thursday about the lack of public toilets in Dailekh district millions of budgets was allocated for the purpose. This is a sure recipe to open defecation, water pollution and threats of water borne diseases. According to the news report, paying a nature’s call in a toilet in public places like bus park, offices and market area in Dailekh has been difficult due to lack of public toilets. Those who visit Dailekh district headquarters have hard time finding a toilet as they are not available.

Narayani Municipality of Dailekh has spent millions for toilet construction but the plan has not materialised. Either constructions have not taken place or those that are constructed are not in functional state. The contractors are said to have not done their works properly though they were paid money in advance. This has raised question mark about the seriousness of local level authorities on this serious matter. 

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