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UN-HABITAT promotes safe drinking water campaign among students

Posted 25 August, 04:38 pm

An Inter-School Speech Competition has been organized on 2 August in Lalitpur to sensitize students on the importance of safe drinking water and enhance their knowledge on drinking water treatment options. The competition with the theme
“Drinking Water Treatment Options” has been organized jointly by Environment and Public Health Organization (ENPHO), UN HABITAT, EAWAG/SANDAC and Coca Cola Company.

The students participating from 4 different schools presented their speech about different drinking water Point of Use (PoU) options particularly chlorination, boiling, filtration and Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS) technique at the programme. Among them, four students
were selected as the winner in four different categories.Reshu Shrestha from Shree Shanti Secondary School was awarded in Bio-Sand Filter category, Pramod Sunuwar won the award in SODIS category where as award in Chlorination category went to Karishma Rawot and Colloidal Siver Filter category to Sangeeta Aalemagar of Kumbheshowr Primary School.The winners were felicitated with certificate and prize by the Senior Environment Journalist Bhairav Rishal, who believed that safe drinking water is essential for a healthy life. Since the quality of water available in Kathmnadu Valley is not reliable to drink without treatment, Rishal suggested every individual to treat
drinking water at their households.

Speaking about the environmental situation in Kathmandu Valley, he said that aquatic inhabitats of the river in the valley have disappeared completely due to river pollution. In his opinion, discharge of untreated wastewater into these water bodies is the major cause of this pollution. He said that it is occurring due to lack of public awareness on environmental sanitation.Executive Director of ENPHO Suman Shakya said that the child mortality rate due to various waterborne diseases has been decreased remarkably in Nepal due to successful efforts made by different WATSAN organizations in raising public awareness on safe drinking water and promoting drinking water PoU options.

ENPHO, UN HABITAT, EAWAG/SANDEC and Coca Cola Company has organized a week-long Water and Hygiene Campaign in 10 selected schools of Lalipur. The campaign has been initiated with the aim to sensitize students on safe drinking water, encourage them in its use and prevent waterborne diseases.

Apart from speech competition, the campaign conducted various activities including student orientation programmes, educational exposure visit and school cleaning campaigns.

In response to the campaign activities, Public Health Section officer of Lalitpur Sub-metropolitan City Karuna Bajracharya stated that the awareness raising activities on safe drinking water conducted in Lalipur have remarkably improved public health condition by controlling waterborne diseases in the municipal area. Lekhnath Panthi of Lalitpur District Public Health Office informed that incidence of waterborne diseases has been found reduced in Lalitpur due to promotion of PoU options. He urged all the students to convey the message of disinfecting drinking water at their homes and communities. Dibya Mani Gyawali, vice-principal at Shree Shanti Secondary School suggested all to disinfect drinking water at household level to end the use of unsafe drinking water.

UN HABITAT and Coca Cola Company has been conducting “Partnership for Safe Water” programme in Lalitpur Sub-metropolitan City for past few years. This campaign has been conducted in the same schools covered by the Partnership for Safe Water programme.The progrmame has also implemented its activities in other 5 municipalities of Nepal as well to extend safe drinking water and proper sanitation facilities to urban poor.