UN-HABITAT supports Department of Water Supply and Sewerage in IYS-2008

Posted 28 January, 04:28 pm

26 January: United Nation’s (UN) announcement to celebrate International Year of Sanitation (IYS) – 2008 was itself a milestone
to accelerate creeping movement of sanitation sector. The year was celebrated worldwide by the global communities and Nepal
also showed its solidarity with this global initiative by formulating Nepal Country Plan for IYS – 2008.

Department of Water Supply and Sewerage (DWSS), under the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works (MPPW) formed the Steering Committee for National Sanitation Action (SCNSA) and established IYS-2008 Nepal Desk for the implementation of activities envisioned by IYS 2008. UN-HABITAT Water for Asian Cities (WAC) Programme Nepal also showed its team spirit and supported DWSS in this process.

A Master Plan on Hygiene and Sanitation, and National Urban Water and Sanitation Policy are being formulated to fulfill the lacking of a comprehensive vision document on hygiene and sanitation, and to address the emerging crisis of urban sanitation.

Nepal along with other participating countries also made its commitments to recognize access to water supply and sanitation
as the basic right at the Third South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN). Similarly, political leaders and policy makers of Nepal expressed their willingness to promote sanitation sector by making their commitment in one voice at a Mega Event held in Kathmandu. It has assured to prioritize sanitation as one of the major issues of national importance in the new constitution of Nepal. Its because of growing concern and commitments of government, policy makers and political leaders,Government of Nepal has now begun to allocate a separate budget for sanitation promotion recognizing the social, economic and health implications of sanitation.

IYS Nepal Desk has organized several trainings on different sanitation issues and activities including School Led Total Sanitation (SLTS) and Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) were also organized at national, district and community level to make the IYS – 2008 momentous. It has esteemed stakeholders to develop and implement own local level Plan of Action on sanitation promotion. Currently, SLTS has been implemented in 46 schools of the Chitwan District and 9 schools have already declared its catchments totally open defecation free zones. By learning the lesson from these activities, stakeholders of Tanahau and Pyuthan district are also developing the local level master plans for their districts to achieve cent percent sanitation coverage by 2012 and 2013 respectively.

Different events such as World Water Day, Global Hand Washing Day, National Sanitation Week, Nepal WASH Campaign and Regional Workshop on Ecological Sanitation organized in IYS 2008 have also made the sanitation consequential. People were also informed, educated and sensitized about sanitation and IYS 2008 through website, radio programs, E-newsletter and various publications

The IYS-2008 has already been completed, but it has opened several doorways in the line of National Goal (NG) and Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to create ample space for sanitation sector. The government’s initiation for the formulation of policies on sanitation, allocating separate budget, stakeholders’ empowerment, public sensitization and practices for Total Sanitation (TS) is praiseworthy achievements of IYS –2008, and conjugative role of DWSS and UN-HABITAT, which has increased hope of progress in sanitation in upcoming years.