Nepal celebrates annually a number of WASH related special days to achieve the national target of full coverage of WASH services. Nepal is committed to provide basic WASH services as people's fundamental right as it is mentioned in the Constitution of Nepal-2072. The National Sanitation Week has an objective to promote sustainable sanitation and hygiene behavior. To reach sustainable sanitation, harmful sanitation behavior must be changed, access to WASH services ensured and availability and affordability of WASH materials ensured. This blog post addresses why and how the 19th National Sanitation Week was celebrated in the program municipalities of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project in Western Nepal Phase II (RWSSP-WN II).
Why National Sanitation Week?
Nepal has made a commitment to improve WASH services in the Constitution-2072, Sanitation and Master Plan-2011, Local Government Operation Guideline-2074 and the Total Sanitation Guideline-2073. Nepal has also committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG 6 has an objective to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation by all by 2030. The Fifth South Asian Conference on Sanitation declared to "recognize the importance of sustainable environmental sanitation and hygiene in urban areas including solid and liquid waste and fecal sludge management for all urban dwellers, regardless of tenure". In Nepal, sanitation coverage (household toilet) was around 98.59 % as of 31st July, 2018. The use of toilet, hygienic maintenance of toilet and other Total Sanitation indicators need still special attention. According to the National Planning Commission, the WASH sector targets by 2030 are as following:
Community-led and school-led Total Sanitation campaigns make efforts to ensure that everybody has a toilet and to improve toilet use and toilet maintenance. Community participation, leadership and mobilization are effective methods in sanitation campaigns. Training potential local triggers and leaders, increasing community awareness and supporting local organizations is needed to promote sanitation and to enhance local capacities. National Sanitation Week is a fertile time for commencing a great number of events and activities designed by local stakeholders.
Sanitation rally to promote environmental sanitation
What is done in the National Sanitation Week?
During the 19th National Sanitation Week that started on 5th of June, 2018, 91 events were organized in 32 Municipalities and Rural Municipalities of 12 RWSSP-WN II working districts. Major activities included essay and speech competitions, distribution of sanitation materials like dustbins and water filters, Total Sanitation declaration ceremonies, quiz contests, painting contents, sanitary pad making workshops and household Total Sanitation monitoring. The objective of all events was to change peoples’ behavior towards ODF, sustainability of ODF and Total Sanitation.
Various stakeholders including executive members of the municipalities, Chief Administrative Officer, market committee representatives, youth clubs, child clubs, students, teachers, mother groups, WASH Coordination Committees and Female Community Health Volunteers participated in the events together with the communities. Eventually, 8,129 persons participated in the events during the celebration of the 19th National Sanitation Week.
WASH stakeholders in road cleaning campaign
How and where the events were organized?
Concerned WASH Coordination Committees agreed on the celebration of the National Sanitation Week. With the technical support of the Municipality WASH Unit staff, they led all the events with full-responsibility. The events were organized in schools, community buildings, mother groups' buildings, local markets, roads, riversides and other public places in Baglung, Gulmi, Kapilvastu, Mustang, Myagdi, Nawalparasi, Parbat, Pyuthan, Rolpa, Rupandehi, Syangja and Tanahun districts.