As the country is heading towards becoming free from the practice of open defecation, Practical Action Nepal has announced Gulariya Municipality as the Open Defecation Free (ODF) municipality in the mid-western region. Along with Dharan, Ratnanagar and other municipalities, Gulariya has also achieved its measure of success.
Launched a couple of years ago by Practical Action, SAFA & SWASTHA Gulariya project has come to its conclusion freeing Gulariya from the open defecation practice. As an INGO supporting Nepal’s various development sectors, Practical Action has made this as one more contribution to Nepal.
This was made public by Practical Action and its implementing partner Environment and Public Health Organization (ENPHO) in collaboration with the Gulariya Municipality at a recently organised dissemination workshop of the “SAFA & SWASTHA Gulariya” project.
The main objective of the workshop was to communicate the success, learning and achievements of the project and possibility of replication of the good practices with wider stakeholders including government, donors, development organisations and media.
Funded by the UK Aid match fund from the UK government through DFID, the “SAFA & SWASTHA Gulariya” project interventions in 14 wards of Gulariya attained remarkable achievements in the WASH front; as a result, entire Gulariya Municipality has been declared ODF.
The overall objective of the project was to improve the lives of residents with enhanced access to improved sanitation environment. The project focused on increasing the coverage of sanitation facilities, enhanced capacity of local stakeholders and piloted innovative solutions in sanitation.
The project promoted innovative community mobilisation approaches such as Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and School Led Total Sanitation (SLTS). Moreover, the project enhanced the capacity of 10 communities in participatory planning and development of Community Action Plans (CAP) that helped in the local planning process. Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) plant, first of its kind in Nepal, was demonstrated in the municipality.
The FSM plant is a household sludge treatment plant which converts the sludge into manure. The project has handed over the plant to the municipality along with a business model citing its sustainability.
Chief Guest of the program, Dr. Sanjay Sharma, Secretary of the Ministry of Water Supply and Sanitation, thanked Practical Action for supporting the government to make Nepal clean and healthy with ODF drive.
As a special guest, Govinda Neupane, Social Development Advisor of DFID, said that DFID will continue to provide support to the sanitation sector. “It is a team work and Practical Action and ENPHO helped us to make our municipality ODF,” said Dharma Raj Neupane, Executive officer of Gulariya Municipality.
Chaired by Achyut Luitel, South Asia Regional Director, Practical Action, Bipin Dongol, Executive Director of ENPHO, also discussed how they helped municipality to declare ODF.
Despite achieving many successes in social development sector, Nepal is yet to achieve the success in making the country free from open defecation practices. According to estimates, more than forty percent of the population still does not have access to ready toilet.
According to National Wash Coordination Committee Secretariat, Environmental Sanitation Section Department of Water Supply and Sewerage report by end of 2015, out of 75 districts only 27 declared ODF so far and out of 191 municipalities 80 municipality, 3282, 2026, only Dhaulagiri zone is declared ODF out of 14.
Different districts are making the announcement of open defecation free area after ensuring the access of all people to latrines as the government has set the target to provide water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) coverage for all by 2017.
As there is the need of a multi-stake holders support, organisations like Practical Action can contribute a lot in this sector with their expertise and experiences of working in the sector.