Global Sanitation Fund Programme launched in Nepal

Posted 8 October, 05:44 pm

The National Coordinating Body (NCB) led by the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works launched a “National Sanitation Programme” in facilitation of UN Habitat on 7 October, 2010 in Nepal.The project has been granted USD 5 million from Global
Sanitation Fund (GSF) Programme, which will be invested solely in sanitation sector in the country.The programme aimed to provide support to the Government of Nepal to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and National targets on sanitation.

There were around 100 participants at the launching programme particularly from different government ministries, department and agencies, UN Agencies including UN Habitat, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and other donor organizations, International and National Non-Government Organizations, Civil Society Organizationsand different media. They were introduced to GSF
Programme and its objectives, and consulted to makethe programme more effective.

Addressing the launching programme, Joint Secretary at Ministry of Physical Planning and Works, andchairperson of NCB, Raj Kumar Malla stated that the GSF Programme has appeared as an opportunity in Nepal, which will accelerate the ongoing sanitation activities in the country. According to him, it will be allocated to develop Open Defecation Free communities,strengthen stakeholders, support implementation of National Hygiene and Sanitation Master Plan, knowledge management and disseminate learning.

Chief, Water and Sanitation Section II, Water, Sanitation and Infrastructure Branch, UN HABITAT, Andre Dzikussaid that the GSF programme would play pivotal role in drawing the attention of the Nepal Government and various other donor organizations to sanitation. He was very hopeful that the programme would bring behavioural change and increase access to sustainable, safe sanitation and hygiene that would result better health in the targeted communities.

GSF Programme Manager at WSSCC Barry Jackson told that the GSF programme has been expected to establish Open Defecation Free communities by the end of the project. He also informed that the programme can be extended if found effective from mid-term evaluation.
Dr. Roshan Raj Shrestha, Regional Chief Technical Advisor, UN Habitat South Asia expressed that GSF programme would act as a catalyzing agency for resource pooling arrangements in Nepal. In his opinion,the fund will help to fulfill the resource gaps in sanitation sector.

Briefing about the GSF Programme, Oliver Jones,Programme Officer at WSSCC informed that the five year programme has aimed to strengthen the civil society groups, schools, private sectors in Nepal. He added that it would conduct various activities keeping poor and un-served community in the centre in order to promote hygiene, raise awareness and create demand for sanitation. It has also planned to maintain integration and linkages among different local resources of the targeted areas.

After this launching, Nepal has become the first country to initiate GSF programme in Asia. The programme has already launched similar projects in Madagascar and Senegal.

GSF is the world’s only multi-donor fund created by WSSCC to help more people attain safe sanitation and practice good hygiene. It has appointed UN Habitat, through a open competition process, as its Executing Agency in Nepal. This appointment has been made to distribute the fund to different sanitation and hygiene programmes in the country.

The project that will effectively work by 2011, will select at least five districts with sanitation coverage less than 20 percent from three development regions. It has targeted to reach over 3 million Nepalese living in areas with the lowest sanitation coverage. It will concentrate in community led and sanitation marketing approached to extend sanitation and hygiene facilities