World Habitat Day to be observed on Monday

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The Department of Urban Development and Building Construction is all set to mark the World Habitat Day for this year. Organising a press meet, DUDBC today informed that it will organise a national level seminar on October 13, in collaboration with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), Lumanti Support Group for Shelter and the Society of Women’s Unity Nepal. Besides, subordinate offices of the DUDBC and various other organisations will also be conducting different programmes throughout the country. The theme for World Habitat Day 2014 is ‘Voices from Slums’ which aims to acknowledge life’s hardships in slums, by giving an opportunity to slum dwellers to voice and air their experiences, knowledge and ideas about improving their living conditions. The theme also aims to highlight the efforts made to achieve Millennium Development Goals. In Nepal’s context, the day aims to raise information and public awareness about challenges such as growing urbanisation, expansion and construction of new cities without basic urban infrastructure and services, disorganised, rampant and harmful settlement as well as settlements vulnerable to natural disaster, environmental pollution, encroachment in public and green places, and increase in private vehicles for transportation, informed DUDBC. According to DUDBC, urban population is increasing by 6.65 per cent compared to national average of 2.27 per cent in Nepal. The urban population accounts for about 17 per cent of total population while the Kathmandu Valley alone shares 54.4 per cent of urban population. Likewise, about 23 per cent of the urban population in the country is under poverty line. Source: The Himalayantimes