Nepal WASH Blog Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) & Development in Nepal

November 19, 2010

Nepal celebrating Global Handwashing Day more than a day

Filed under: Handwashing,Hygiene — Tags: , , — Anita Pradhan @ 7:47 pm

Appallingly, 10,500 under fives die each year in Nepal due to diarrhoeral diseases. It is estimated that the simple practice of washing hands with soap could actually prevent around 45% of these deaths. In order to have maximum impact in promoting handwashing, this year’s Global Handwashing campaign in Nepal was extended to a 10 day period, carrying the slogan ‘more than just a day’. Through the campaign, joint organisers WaterAid and UNICEF in Nepal hoped to encourage policy makers and politicians to commit to recognizing handwashing as a priority on the development agenda. The awareness raising campaign also targeted the public, particularly mothers and children, with the aim of making the simple, life-saving practice of washing hands a regular habit.

 The campaign was launched at a mega-event in Changunarayan, Bhaktapur, with an impressive turn-out – over 40 constituent assembly members attended, along with students, politicians, health professionals, water-sanitation sector stakeholders representing NGOs, youth groups, media, artists, and various community representatives. 

Tangible outcomes from the event were numerous: Mr Umakanta Chaudhary, Minister of Health and Population and Mr Khadga Bahadur Basyal, State Minister, committed to supporting the promotion of sanitation and hygiene as a fundamental right of every citizen in the country. Commitments were also signed by the constituent assembly members, and all event participants committed themselves to practicing regular hand-washing in their daily lives.

The impact of the 10 day campaign, which also included a programme of national, district and community activities, is still being measured. But the campaign constitutes yet another step in the on-going promotion of handwashing practices here in Nepal, which, in the long run may lead to a reduction in the rate of diarrhoea and may thereby also contribute to a reduction in our shocking rate of child mortality.

Watch the ‘Not just a day’ videos:

Showing commitments http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UmRediRokI

Pro-active role of WAN in GHD 2010 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2O30cZ99B7g

Children flowing energy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_gOXmJZIOQ

Private sectors in sanitation campaign http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sBQZGdXhtQ

Youth raising awareness http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIX6OcM47gM

Written by Anita Pradhan, Documentation Manager, WaterAid in Nepal

This blog was created by WaterAid under the creative commons licence