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Bardiya declared Terai first ODF District

Posted 12 June, 06:12 pm

On 12th June 2015, Honorable Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Mr. Bamdev Gautam declared Bardiya as the 24th open defecation free district in Nepal and first ODF district in Terai. The declaration program was chaired Mr. Dilli Ram Sigdel, Local Development Officer of Bardiya and the chairperson of the District WASH Coordination Committee.

Members of Constituent Assembly, senior leaders of district level political parties, high level officials from different ministries, security agencies, and development organizations were the special guests of the programme. Representatives of local organizations, civil society, CFUGs, M WASH CC, V WASH CC, W WASH CC, Women’s Groups, Child Clubs, Teachers, Students, media person and about 5000 local people participated in the programme.

The ODF declaration ceremony was inaugurated by Chief Guest Honorable Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Mr. Bamdev Gautam, who also administered an oath to everyone present to sustain the ODF status and move towards total sanitation. He also congratulated all stakeholders for being the first district in the Terai to be declared as ODF and all citizens of Bardiya could proudly claim that they are civilized people.

Member Secretary of D WASH CC Mr. Arjun Kumar Bam gave a welcome speech and Chairperson of D WASH CC Mr. Dilli Ram Sigdel presented a report on the district ODF campaign. According to the report, all 85,377 households in the district now has toilets.

Special guest Secretary of Health and Population Ministry Mr. Shanta Bahadur Shrestha focused on various diseases which are born in lack of proper sanitation and thanked to all Bardiya people for sanitation improvement. Deputy Director General of DWSS Mr. Sunil Kumar Das thanked to Bardiya inhabitant and suggested to all for the sustainability of the sanitation campaign adopting the indicator of total sanitation.
South Asian Technical Advisor of UN-Habitat Mr. Bhusan Tuladhar said that the ODF declaration of Bardiya was very special and gave three strong messages – (1) Sanitation campaign can succeed in the Terai, inspite of soci-cultural, financial and technical challenges; (2) Even the poor and marginalized communities such as ex-Kamaiyas and landless people can invest in toilets and (3) Even after natural disasters, such as the flood that affected Bardiya last year, the sanitation campaign can be brought back on track if the local people and local stakeholders demonstrate the commitment to do so. This is a very strong message at this time when the sanitation campaign in districts such as Dolakha and Sindhupalchowk have come to halt becuase of the earthquake of 25 April.

Many community groups and students performed sanitation related songs, dances and other cultural programmes to entertain the guests and spread awareness on sanitation and hygiene.