May 18, 2011
April 15, 2011
Tourism plays a big role in Nepal, according to the National Tourism Plan in order to make Nepal Tourism Year 2011 successful they aim to attract one million international tourists and also establish a quarter million new tourist sites. These expected tourists who will visit the different sites will also need to have facilities available for them according to their needs. With 2011 being Nepal Tourism Year it is necessary that we provide tourists with proper facilities. These proper facilities not only include lodging, food and security but also proper hygiene and sanitation facilities like safe water and proper latrines.
With far off regions lacking in proper hotels the National Tourism Plan came up with the novel idea of establishing home-stay programs. This is benefitting to both the tourist and local people as it allows tourists to interact with people and allows the local to generate some income. In order to qualify for the home-stay programme, the chosen homes must have proper latrine facilities. However the organising committee has not checked if homes have proper hygiene and sanitation facilities, this may leave tourists in a lurch. According to WaterAid in Nepal’s calculations if the expected number of one million tourists arrived for the Tourism Year, Nepal would require 77,000 latrines at a minimum. An ordinary pit latrine costs NRS 5000, according to calculations it would require 75 million NRS to make such latrines only.
Stakeholders, policy makers and advisors need to take into account that proper sanitation and hygiene facilities could actually help boost tourism and economy. With tourism year already in full swing there is little we can now do to ensure that tourists have access to latrines and proper sanitation facilities.
April 1, 2011
There are only three more months left until the start of Nepal Tourism Year 2011. According to official records Nepal has 735 hotels, 14,272 rooms and 28,485 beds (on per day basis) registered. The prospective tourists who will use these rooms during their stay do not know about access to basic sanitation in the form of latrines in Nepal as there is no data/ information provided on this matter. Food and latrine are equally important for people; this is a proven fact that has to be applied to the tourism sector as well.
The National Tourism Plan has set different goals in order to make Nepal Tourism Year 2011 successful, one of their main aims is to attract one million international tourists and also establish a quarter million new tourist sites. These expected tourists who will visit the different sites will also need to have facilities available for them according to their needs. According to a report released by the Nepal Water Supply and Sewage department, in 2010 alone 106 million people (57 per cent of the population) do not have a latrine in their homes. Nearly half of the total population practice open defecation as they have no other choice. It is imperative that there be the same/equal number of latrines made so that the tourists who are able to use this facility. Tourists also remain unaware about latrine/toilet facilities in Nepal.
The Tourism Plan prepared in 2067 BS determined that by establishing home-stay programmes, local communities in rural and urban areas could take part in income generating programs. However in order to qualify for the home-stay there are certain criteria’s that they must fulfill. One such criteria being that all home-stay participating houses should have a latrine and proper sanitation however it has not been stated anywhere in the policy what the condition of the latrine should be like or how proper sanitation methods will be monitored. It is possible that during the proposed tourism year we might not be able to provide basic sanitation and hygiene facilities adequately/ according to the number of expected tourists.
According to WaterAid Nepal’s calculations if the expected number of a million tourists arrived for the Tourism Year, Nepal would require 77,000 latrines at a minimum. An ordinary pit latrine costs NRS 5000, according to calculations it would require 75 million NRS to make such latrines only. When we look at the figures separated for sanitation by the annual budget we need an additional 39 million. In order to make tourism year 2011 a success we need to double our investment in the sanitation sector.
Within the next 10 years the Government of Nepal hopes to uplift the Nepalese people’s lives through economic growth, stakeholders have tried to bring about development through the tourism industry in Nepal by announcing Tourism Year 2011. This is why it is important that we organise accordingly in the areas of hygiene and sanitation. Although announced a few years ahead little preparation has been made for tourism year and any preparation on hygiene and sanitation is now late. A few years back another Asian nation, Thailand, was also in a dire state as their sanitation and hygiene similar to Nepal. Today Thailand has developed by giving priority to sanitation and hygiene which in turn has helped boost its tourism; the same idea can be applied in Nepal as well.
If basic infrastructures are provided for tourists it will positively contribute towards change in tourism industry. How many tourists should be expected and how we will provide them with basic service has an effect on environmental and other sectors of the industry as well. It can be clearly seen that providing proper access to latrines will contribute towards developing the tourism industry. If assured of having proper latrine facilities tourists will have one less thing to worry about, this can be appealing to tourists who wish to travel.
This is English translation of the article written in Nepali language by Ms Anita Pradhan, Communications Officer at WaterAid in Nepal. The article is published on The Kantipur Daily on 26 October 2010.
January 12, 2011
Nepal’s ‘Millennium Development Goals progress report 2010’ is optimistic about Nepal achieving many of its MDG targets by 2015. The report indicates that some are very likely to be achieved and others quite likely. However, it predicts that three targets are unlikely to be achieved by 2015. These are: ‘achieving full and productive employment and decent work for all’, ‘universal access to reproductive health’ and ‘halving the proportion of population without sustainable access to improved sanitation’.
At a time when Nepal faces the huge challenge of making progress in these three MDG targets, an article published by The Kathmandu Post on January 7, 2011, ‘Water industry eyeing Rs 5000 b investment’ offers some encouragement. The article reports that the fast growing water industry in the country is expected to attract approximately Rs. 500 billion in investment from Indian and foreign companies, which would provide one
million jobs within the Nepalese market over the next three years.
This would certainly help Nepal’s government in terms of expecting progress in at least one of these targets: ‘achieving full and productive employment and decent work for all’.
I believe that an increase in employment and water supply could actually contribute indirectly to reproductive health and access to improved sanitation. It will therefore be the responsibility of the government and other stakeholders to endeavor to make this program a success.
Given this important development then, the country will need to place more focus on targets relating to reproductive health and sanitation in order to translate its commitment into reality.
Written by Govind Shrestha, Research Officer, WaterAid in Nepal