January 3, 2013
March 26, 2011
Thousands of campaigners in Nepal walked today in the streets of Kathmandu demanding the government to take concrete actions and political leadership to provide sanitation and water for all Nepalese.
As part of “Walk for Water’” campaign participants completed an hour-long walk from Dasarath Stadium, Tripureshwar to Khulla Manch.
Addressing walkers at Khulla Manch Mr Navin Raj Joshi, Constituent Assembly Member of Nepal has committed to enable environment in declaration of sanitation and water as fundamental rights in the constitution of Nepal being under draft.
“Lack of water and sanitation traps people in a vicious circle of disease, lost life chances and poverty.” said Ashutosh Tiwari, Country Representative, WaterAid in Nepal. “While the country waits to take action on the water and sanitation crisis, 10,500 children below five years die annually in the country from related illnesses. Campaigners are demanding the government to take action on this deadly emergency.”
“Let’s end water crisis from which Nepalese are suffering everyday.” appeals Ms Jharana Thapa, Cine Actress and Sanitation Brand Ambassador.
“Walk for Water”: a joint collaboration with civil society organisations working on sanitation and water is just a beginning and Rotary International will concentrate more in future providing girls access to sanitation at public and community schools.” said Mr Rajiv Pokhrel, President, Rotary Club of Metro Kathmandu.
“We are more sensitive to conserve water and will support in future on initiatives for water and sanitation in Nepal.” said Mr Diwakar Poudel, Head, Corporate Affairs.
“Nepal government must declare sanitation and water as fundamental rights of people in context where UN has declared access to basic sanitation and water as human rights.” demands Dr Suman Shakya, Representative on behalf of Civil Society Organisation working on Sanitation and Water in Nepal.
Cartoon exhibition related to water and people’s insights on water scarcity was also displayed at Khulla Manch.
WaterAid together with Standard Chartered Bank Nepal Limited, Rotary International District 3292 Nepal, End Water Poverty Campaign – Sanitation and Water for All, civil society organisation working on sanitation, water and hygiene: Center for Integrated Urban Development (CIUD), Environment and Public Health Organisation (ENPHO), Federation of Drinking Water and Sanitation Users Nepal (FEDWASUN) Lumanti- Support Group for Shelter, Nepal Water for Health (NEWAH), NGO Forum for Urban Water and Sanitation (NGOFUWS), Urban Environment Management Society (UEMS), Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) and Guthi jointly organised the “Walk for Water”.
December 7, 2010
When I joined WaterAid in Nepal just two years ago, I was sorry to hear that more than half of Nepalis still defecate in open areas each morning, and shocked to learn that 10,500 children under five are dying each year in this country from preventable diseases like diarrhea and cholera. The JMP Report 2010 states that the world is off track in meeting the sanitation related MDG targets and sadly, the same is true for Nepal.
To raise awareness of the importance of sanitation worldwide, World Toilet Day was started in 2001 by the World Toilet Organization. The campaign takes place on November 19th each year and this year, WaterAid Nepal and our partners wanted to do something a bit different.
We wanted to facilitate innovative campaigning at a local level, so we began by developing guidelines for our local partners, encompassing things like campaign objectives, key statistics and campaigning ideas. These were translated and contextualized in local languages by Federation of Water and Sanitation Users Nepal (FEDWASUN).
All this early work paid off! In the early morning of November 19, students from three different community schools were out on the roads in Dhading and Pyuthan, carrying placards with toilet and sanitation slogans.
Three other rallies were organized by FEDWASUN in the market areas of Dhanding, Pyuthan and Dang, with around 2000 people from very diverse backgrounds taking part. To give you an idea, participants included the Chief District Officer, political leaders, the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and Army personnel, to name but a few. Chief District Officer, Pyuthan animated the crowd when he said that “World Toilet Day campaign should be continued for achieving target of declaring Pyuthan as Open Defecation Free zone by 2013. Chief District Office will be committed to provide all the possible support to continue to the momentum”.
We were keen not to limit the campaign to organized rallies though, so we supplied our partners with ideas, hoping to inspire their creativity – and it worked!
FEDWASUN Makwanpur decided to use the platform to share findings from their analysis on the status of toilet provision. Baglung district chapter held a sanitation themed folk song competition and a protest program, organized by children at the District Education Office (DEO) to demand easy toilet access in schools. Dang also organized a protest program at the DEO, handing an appeal letter demanding school toilets to the Chief District Officer. And Lumanti- Support Group for Shelter, in partnership with Biratnagar municipality, used the campaign to teach children about good hygiene behaviour.
Monitoring the success of campaigns has always been a bit of a challenge for us so this time, we agreed on several success indicators to measure its effectiveness.
If you’re interested in the results of the campaign, I can tell you that our success indicator for ‘campaigning with creativity’ was surpassed! We also surpassed our target for ‘presence of high profile and decision makers’. The target for ‘media coverage of the campaign’ was met but we fell slightly short of our target for the number of participants (ie. 500 per district). In terms of monitoring any changes made, we feel that this was just the beginning. We think that coordinating agencies should be mapping any changes made in terms of access to sanitation services as a result of increased political commitment and financing in the sector, but I’d be interested in our readers’ thoughts…
Written by Shikha Shrestha, Advocacy and Research Officer, WaterAid in Nepal
October 5, 2010
Images of natural beauties in rural parts of Nepal are so captivating that people are eagerly waiting for trip opportunities to recharge themselves with these natural batteries. WaterAid in Nepal together with Federation of Water and Sanitation Users in Nepal (FEDWASUN) are engaged in citizen action program for promoting governance of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector through constructive engagement of people in WASH interventions. Trip to Dang began with high eagerness to learn and document best practices and efforts carried forward by FEDWASUN Dang to increase WASH access to poor people in Dang. Cloudy path in Nepalgunj flight was reminding us to be positive as “every cloud has a silver lining”. With positive and learning aptitude, we began our journey to Dang.
It is true, you get what you look for. We were bestowed with cases of success brought forward by hard works of community members. It was impressive to watch Kuirepani Women Water and Sanitation Users Committee members articulating their needs with government visitors from Kathmandu without any hesitance. It was indeed a sign of empowerment as these women members were telling how they are balancing both their social and family responsibilities together without compromising their dignity. They were proud to share their story of declaring their community as open defecation free zone with support from all community members including men, shares Sita Ale, President of women community member.
Photo 2: Empowered Kuirepani women community
It was not only women as groups who paved their way towards success. There were several individual cases like that of Sajana Budha Magar, a 23 year old single woman from Mankapur. She shared her inspirational story of life transformation after receiving skill based training from FEDWASUN Dang. The training had made her financially independent so that she was no more burden to her family. Even community members were showing us how she used her income for bringing electricity to her home. Financial independency provided her confidence to make decisions of her own life. Organizations like FEDWASUN should continue providing favorable environment for women like her so that she would receive all community support to live her life with pride and security.
Kulmohar located in Chailai Village of Dang was location of 65 households of squatter based in government forest area. Prem Bahadur Pun Magar, President of Kulmohar Users Committee shared hardships of women in collecting water from far distance. FEDWASUN lobbied with government agencies to select the squatter area for providing water supply under Community Drinking Water Project. The communities were delighted to have tap in near by area as well as toilet to protect their privacy and protection from wild animals. They were proudly showing their concrete stones as means of alternative income generation as women could invest their time saved from water collection. It was thrilling to hear story from old lady about using toilet in 81 years!
Photo 4: Old lady using toilet in 81 years
Well established community user committees like Narayanpur and Beljhundi Users Committees had building of their own. They seemed more systematic as they had full paid staff members looking after the user committee interventions. These committees were key source of influencing and lobbying with decision makers. They were working in the areas of raising sanitation awareness so that the concept of open defecation free zone could flourish in whole Dang.
Photo 5: Building of Narayanpur Users Committee
Traces of conflict seemed very faint in comparison to different destinations enriched with clean flow of water. It was like a dream for people who were used to foul smelly rivers. If community are together to manage their resources then it would not be tough to protect natural resources, was the story of the clean flowing water. Wise people should learn from other’s mistakes so Dang should not repeat story of Kathmandu rivers so people will always dream of visiting these natural scenarios. When there is a will, there is a way seems to be the motto of the trip!
Written by Shikha Shrestha, Advocacy and Research Officer, WaterAid in Nepal