WaterAid Nepal together with FEDWASUN , CIUD , ENPHO , FAN , FEDO , Guthi, KIRDARC , Kathmandu School of Law, Lumanti, Maitri, NEWAH , Standard Chartered Bank, UEMS today handed in more than 19,000 signatures petition calling on decision-makers to keep their promises on water and sanitation, to the Chairman, Council of Ministers, Khil Raj Regmi at the Office of the Prime Minister, Singha Durbar.
The petition, part of an international campaign with global CSO coalition End Water Poverty, will now be taken to the United Nations General Assembly Millennium Development Goal Review Summit, in New York, where it will be submitted as part of one million-strong global petition.
Chairman Khil Raj Regmi received the petition. He will be attending the UN summit as the leader of the Nepal Government delegation said: “I will take the issue of water and sanitation at the UN General Assembly that you all have jointly presented today”
He further added “Nepal Government is fully aware that there must be access to water and sanitation for all, and there are strong policies to support it. We are committed, infact doing more to fulfll the pomises made. Nepal Government welcomes your support towards reaching WASH goals and acknowlegde your effort in WASH”
Though data indicates Nepal has met MDG target on water and sanitation, only 50% of the water supply schemes are functional and sustainability of the sanitation practices and behaviour are still questionable. The current 62 % coverage on sanitation and 82% coverage on drinking water at the constraint of functionalibility and sustainability cannot ensure the commitment of Nepal Government for the universal coverage of water and sanitation for all by 2017.
The MDG target on sanitation in many country will not be met and is currently the most off-track MDG target. Some 40% of the world lack access to sanitation – more people have a mobile phone than have a toilet. The MDG target on water has been achieved at a global level, but at current rates of progress it will take 200 years to reach it in sub-Saharan Africa, while almost 800 million people across the world remain without access to an improved water source.
WaterAid Nepal Country Rrepresentative, Ashutosh Tiwari said: “The signatures collected for this petition show the strong demand from people in our country and across the world for decision makers to achieve universal access to safe water and sanitation both here in Nepal and globally.
We are happy to know that the Chairman promised he will do his utmost to ensure WASH remains at the top of the political agenda”. WaterAid Nepal and these 13 organizations have been collecting signatures across the coutry as part of the Keep Your Promises campaign, focused on achieving universal access to water and sanitation.
WaterAid is an active member of the international Keep Your Promises campaign. Over the past year it has joined civil society organisations across the world in collecting the astonishing 1 million signatures which call on decision makers to: set up efforts towards reaching the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on sanitation; to ensure there is a commitment to universal access to water and sanitation in the post-2015 framework, and; to work towards achieving safe sanitation and drinking water for all.
Access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) is crucial to ending poverty, due to the impact WASH has on improving economic growth, health, gender equality and education.
The benefits of investing in water and sanitation have been demonstrated to far outweigh the costs. It is estimated that to reach the sanitation MDG target by 2015 will require $32.2 billion per year investment from 2010 to 2015. However, total losses due to inadequate water supply/sanitation services are $260 billion per year, while there is a $4 return on every $1 invested in water and sanitation.