City Wide Inclusive Sanitation, supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) in Nepal drags the attention of major stakeholders to stand for safely managed inclusive sanitation services.
Presenting the figure of only 11% of the population having connected to the sewerage system, the special effort from the community to policy level requires minimizing the gaps as well as take this opportunity for enhancing the sanitation services.
UN-Habitat Nepal in leadership with the Ministry of Water Supply (MoWS) hosted the Stakeholder Workshop on Policy Assessment on CWIS findings.
Sharing the presentation on recently carried out policy research and an overview of the CWIS project, Sudha Shrestha, National Professional Officer – WaSH representing UN-Habitat lauded that CWIS conceptual framework is a universally accepted framework to ensure equitable, safe, and economically viable sanitation services for everyone living in the city. She believed that after the country's ODF declaration, inclusive sanitation needs to be the preferred concept aiming to increase access to safe sanitation for all, everywhere, all the time.
This project is supported by BMGF for CWIS promotion and advancement in Nepal and Kenya through UN-Habitat and in Ethiopia and Bangladesh through UNICEF.
Presenting the findings of policy assessment Urban legal legislation expert, Sanjaya Adhikary presented the status of Nepal in sanitation services. With rapid urbanization, these issues are being more complex and pathetic day by day if the Government of Nepal in support of development partners won’t address this on time. Recalling the present status, he emphasized that the government entities haven't carried out systematic study and uniform data in WaSH.
The Constitution of Nepal has envisioned the WASH Services as fundamental rights and basic sanitation in the jurisdiction of the local government but with the lack of technical expertise and knowledge, it can’t happen as expected. Even the role, responsibilities and accountability of Municipal, provincial, and the federal government is still not clear in this federal transition so far, they are hardly engaging in sanitation service priorities and policy round table dialogues for enhancing sanitation services.
The Government of Nepal must focus on national urban sanitation streamlining the sanitation policy that reflects the regulatory framework on on-site sanitation in urban and rural areas apart from sewer services.
Chief Guest of the event, Suresh Acharya, Secretary at the Ministry of Water Supply thanked the presenters for the insightful presentation on inclusive sanitation.
He has committed that MoWS will lead in policy discourse cum implementation of the CWIS concept in Nepal. He recalled that the Nepal government has already envisioned meeting the SDG 6 indicators by 2030 where CWIS concept will accelerate to achieve the major milestones.
“Safer sanitation shouldn’t be limited within the construction of toilets at household level where the entire government and development entities should contribute to managing the complete cycle of fecal sludge management based upon their area of expertise,” he added.
Joining the event in virtual mode from UN-Habitat Kenya, Hezekiah Pireh focused on the parameters and implementing a strategy of CWIS in the WaSH sector. He highlighted that each indicator of CWIS is common in both developing and developed nations, taking WaSH and global agenda which need to be addressed by sharing the knowledge, skills, and practice.
Dr. Tameez Ahmad from UNICEF Nepal Office thanked the Nepal Government for brainstorming the CWIS indicators and model targeting the future generation. He simplified that no concept is newer to Nepal, but the strategic implementation is foremost in a collaborative approach. He also highlighted that we all should take pride in what we have achieved in the sector and need to build on it.
Speaking over the program former secretary and WaSH expert Suman Sharma recommended for the collaborative effort to pass on the key fundamentals of CWIS from top to bottom approach. Recalling the best practices from neighboring countries he clarified that the community movement on safer and equitable sanitation is essential for better WaSH but the land acquisition would be a major issue for an inclusive sanitation approach in the core cities area.
As the ODF phase focused on household sanitation access and their respective responsibility, now we need to graduate to city responsibilities and their accountability. He also highlights that Municipal wide governance and City-Wide Solutions is the approach of CWIS. Like in the ODF campaign the message is clear and standardized, with CWIS also the unified clear message across the value chain is required.
The thematic working group has been formed under the coordination of Joint Secretary from MoWS Meena Shrestha to promote City Wide Inclusive Sanitation programs focusing on the cities of Nepal.
Yogendra Chitrakar, Sr. Divisional Engineer from MoWS informed that the mutual coordination of the existing 16 organizations is mandatory and shouldn’t be limited in numbers to establish the agendas and framework of CWIS at the community level pooling the resource and expertise within CWIS Alliance Nepal formed recently.
The scaling of officials and elected bodies at the local level through extensive programs, workshops and roundtable discussions will be fruitful in implementation added by Maheshwar Ghimire from the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration. He added the practical aspects aligning with conditional grants with sanitation services under MoFAGA.
In federalism, this policy review can be a milestone. Either Sewered or non-sewered the role of municipalities to be cleared. Capacity development and institutional arrangement are crucial (Palinkas not even have units and focal points for sanitation) and Multi stakeholders’ responsibility is vital at all levels. Capacity enhancement also of lose forums beyond government is crucial for engagement. Need resource and financial discipline as current stage 80% Road priority and Sanitation is least priority. Clarity whether CWIS is a cost-recovery model or subsidy model. Lead role is of the local government and to gear, the concept of the WASH Board will work.Private sector engagement but from a profit-making angle: how CWIS can be conducive to private sector.
From CSOs Rajendra Aryal, National President from Federation of Drinking Water and Sanitation Consumers (Fedwasan) said that Safer sanitation should be treated as a social and political agenda. He stated that the upcoming election of local level, he focused that the public should be proactive in making accountable to political parties and series of focal group discussions, bilateral/ multilateral meetings and media engagement is required to simplify the CWIS indicators among the public.
Kamal Adhikari, Sr. sociologist at the Ministry of Urban Development committed for the exercise in adding the major indicators of CWIS in would be established urban development policy of the ministry. He emphasized that MoWS and development partners shouldn’t be limited in piloting the project as we need strong movement in every tier of government. Public Health and environment are the crucial thrust of CWIS which investigation:
In the QA session, officials and experts representing the different entities welcomed the concept of CWIS and expressed their exclusive remarks in the proper implementation of indicators with strong commitment inlining to the institutional thematic agenda with innovation, clarity on scope and implementation approach.
Meena Shrestha, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Water Supply thanked participants for their critical review and discourse on the CWIS thematic indicators. She suggested providing written feedback via email in the way forward or any sections of the presentation.
Adding more the role of the jurisdiction of the three-tier government set back the WaSH movement after the country ODF declaration where MoWS is trying to collaborate among the key stakeholders through consultation, conversation, and coordination for implementation of CWIS initiatives in Nepal which is way forward of the sector. The inter-ministerial coordination is vital, and the ministry will look into this enhancement. NWASH MIS portal that Ministry had initiated may be the key entry point for advancing CWIS framework in Sector