October 1 – Nepal has been declared open-defecation free (ODF) country amid a programme on Monday.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli made the declaration on this notable achievement Nepal made at a programme organized by Ministry of Water Supply in Kathmandu.
The declaration was made in recognition of all 753 local units of 77 districts that had declared themselves ODF recently. The campaign to make Nepal an ODF country had commenced in 2011. During that time around 9 million people still did not have sanitation facilities in the country, according to the World Bank.
PM Oli assured that Nepal would achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within its stipulated deadline-2030. The participants of the events had jubilantly applauded the declaration and waved the flag while the PM was making the announcement.
Stating that the declaration had catapulted Nepal one step higher in terms of civilization, Oli shared that government was moving ahead taking into account realization of the goals such as elevating the country from below the poverty line, eliminating illiteracy and graduating Nepal from least developed country to the developed one.
He was hope that the declaration would support in promotion of health and wellbeing of people, reduction in medication expenses, reduction in infection of communicable disease, reduction in mortality rate as well as increase in life expectancy.
The PM reaffirmed, “We are accountable to people. We have committed not to leave our citizens at lurch. Nobody will be left helpless in the roads anymore.”
Similarly, Minister for Water Supply Beena Magar said that Nepal was moving towards ensuring basic sanitations coverage to all the population. She informed that a total of 5.6 million toilets were built across the country so far in a bid to bring everyone under the coverage of sanitation.
Likewise, Minister for Urban Development Mohammad Istiyak Rai spoke of the need for Nepal to pay attention towards development of physical infrastructure.
Also speaking at the programme, Chief Minister of Karnali Province Mahendra Bahadur Shahi said that they could not provide permanent toilets to Raute people since they are nomadic in nature.
He also mentioned that many places in his province did not have cemented toilet and water facility.
State-Minister for Health and Population Dr Surendra Yadav said that although Nepal was marching ahead in achieving sanitation goals, there was still a lot to achieve in health sector.
National Planning Commission’s Vice-Chairperson Dr Pushpa Raj Kandel viewed that today’s declaration had spoken for the fact that any huge goal was attainable if effective implementation was put in place.
Province No 2’s Minister for Physical Infrastructure Jitendra Sonal said that Nepal had achieved a historical achievement with the declaration and the issue was attached with the prestige, civilization and honour of Nepal.