Nepal has been progressing rapidly in achieving access to sanitation through its renowned “sanitation movement” that reflects a government-led, multi-actor and multi-sector commitment to sanitation following a no-subsidy approach. 91% of households currently have access to an improved toilet and the country is aiming to become an open defecation-free nation by the end of 2017.
Inaugurated on World Environment Day each year, the National Sanitation Week serves to highlight the emphasis of the government on improving sanitation. It is celebrated country-wide with enthusiastic participation at community, district, and national level.
SNV’s Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (SSH4A) programme joined in the celebrations for the 18th National Sanitation Week in the 17 programme districts with the mobilisation of government officials, community leaders and activists, school and health personnel, and even the armed forces. It was also an opportune time to encourage the newly elected local body representatives to make sanitation a priority right from the beginning of their tenure.
The week was packed with activities such as: special events to rejuvenate the village, municipality and district WASH coordination committees; communication on the importance of sanitation and hygiene through radio, street dramas, street rallies, and video shows; practical cleaning campaigns led by eminent people; and competitions for school children (quizzes, art, cultural songs).
The SSH4A programme in Nepal is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DGIS).