The fifth South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN) will be held in Kathmandu from 22-24 October 2013. Hosted by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), eight nations from the region will take part in the SACOSAN-V.
According to SACOSAN-V Secretariat, eight nations from South Asia – Nepal, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Bangladesh – will be participating. Addressing a press conference, secretary of MoUD Kishore Thapa said the ministers from six countries will attend the program. He said that Pakistan and Bangladesh will send high level delegation.
Starting in Bangladesh in 2003, SACOSAN is held every two years on a rotational basis in one of the South Asian countries. As a common platform for participating nations to discuss problems and explore solutions to achieve complete sanitation status, this conference is expected to accelerate the momentum of sanitation in this region.
The Secretary of the MoUD Kishore Thapa said that Nepal SACOSAN demonstrates the commitment of the country in promoting sanitation. “The ODF movement has already taken momentum in Nepal. This event can be crucial in accelerating the momentum of sanitation across the country. However, urban areas are more challenging than rural areas for the sanitation drive,” Secretary Thapa said.
Nepal is placing high priority on this conference to promote mutual exchange and tourism. Responding to the queries of the media, Abadh Kishor Mishra the Joint Secretary of the MoUD said that the Open Defecation Free (ODF) declaration of Bhaktapur is very important and symbolic for all urban areas of the country. “To achieve the national target of sanitation for all, behavior change is very important and we have paid special consideration to it,” Mishra said.
Joint Secretary and Spokesperson of the MoUD Suresh Prakash Acharya described the detailed plan of SACOSAN-V. The public opening of this conference will be organized in the historical city of Bhaktapur, also a world heritage site. President of Republic of Nepal, Dr. Ram Baran Yadav will inaugurate the conference. On the same day, Bhaktapur will also be declared the 10th Open Defecation Free (ODF) district out of Nepal's 75 districts. The districts of Kaski, Tanahun, Chitwan, Myagdi, Pyuthan, Parbat, Achham, Kalikot and Makwanpur have already been declared ODF.
The conference will be concluded with the Kathmandu Declaration, made in the presence of Chairman of Council of Ministers Khil Raj Regmi. According to a press release of SACOSAN-V Secretariat, there will be more than 100 participants from Nepal in this conference. Similarly, 70 delegates from India, 50 from Pakistan, 65 from Bangladesh, 20 from Afghanistan and 10 from Sri Lanka and the Maldives will be present. 50 international experts will also participate in the conference.