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

Pro-active role of WAN in GHD 2010

Children flowing energy

Private sectors in sanitation campaign

Youth raising awareness

Written by Anita Pradhan, Documentation Manager, WaterAid in Nepal

This blog was created by WaterAid under the creative commons licence