Nepal launches off-track, off-target report and initiates talks on sanitation crisis

Unless urgent action is taken, the Nepal Government will fail to meet the Millennium Development Goal to halve the number of people without sanitation by 2015.


18 Nov 2011 | Nepal

WaterAid in association with Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Lalitpur Sub Metropolitan City, End Water Poverty and the National Federation of Disabled Nepal will today (Friday the 18th of November) launch the 'Off-track, off target' Report and host the Nepal Crisis Talks on the sanitation crisis.

The report shows that there are more people in the world today lacking adequate sanitation services than in 1990. Unless urgent action is taken, the Nepal Government will fail to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) pledge they made to halve the proportion of people without sanitation by 2015. This has massive consequences for child mortality in the country.

Nepal's MDG target is to supply 73% of the population with safe water by 2015 and 53% of the population with adequate sanitation. 80% have water but only 31% have sanitation. If functionality of water points is taken into account the coverage levels drop to only 52 percent. While Nepal has met its water MDG target early, at current rates of progress the sanitation target will be missed by 15 years (2030).

With the 'Off-track, off-target' report and the Nepal Crisis Talks launched a day before World Toilet Day, the report states that to get the sanitation and water MDGs back on track, off track countries in South Asia to spend at least 1% of gross domestic product (GDP) on providing sanitation services. The report also calls on donor countries to double global aid flows to water, sanitation and hygiene by prioritising an additional US$10 billion per year.

Although the national budget for sanitation has increased over the last two fiscal years, from Rupee 200 million to 320 million (about US$ 2.6 million rising to US$ 4 million), to achieve the sanitation MDG target, WaterAid estimates that an annual budget of Rupee 1 billion is required, or a threefold increase from current levels.

In addition to increased financing, the report states that Governments should better target water and sanitation resources and services to the people and countries that need it the most. The report also identifies that it is South Asia's poorest people who are being left behind; poor people in South Asia are 13 times less likely to have access to sanitation than the rich.

According to the WaterAid report, research from Nepal shows some remote village development committees have yet to receive funding from the Government or from NGOs to meet their demand. Some others are overfunded relative to need. In the district of Baglung in west Nepal, the 40 planned schemes in the pipeline have the capacity to increase coverage by over 90,000 people, while the remaining population to serve is only 25,590 people.

WaterAid analysis also shows many of Nepal's neighbours are also heading towards failure to meet the pledge they made in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to halve the proportion of people without sanitation by 2015. Based on the same projection, it will be 2028 before Pakistan meets its MDG on sanitation, while Bangladesh will not reach it until 2029, and India by 2047.

The Off-track, off-target report is being published on the day WaterAid launches the Water Works campaign to urge governments across the world to do more to tackle the water and sanitation crisis. The campaign aims to show world leaders that taps and toilets are simple, effective and affordable, and that investing in these basic human needs is an urgent priority.

WaterAid will also join other members of the End Water Poverty campaign in 50 coordinated 'Crisis Talk' events in over 20 countries where local groups will be meeting with politicians to discuss the water and sanitation crisis.

In the Nepal Crisis Talk and 'Off-track, off-Target' event, Ashutosh Tiwari, Country Representative, WaterAid in Nepal will give welcoming remarks. The Off-track Off-target report will be officially launched by the Minister for Minister Local Development, Top Bahadur Rayamajhi,.

Rabin Lal Shrestha, Research and Advocacy Manager at WaterAid in Nepal will then present the report in details.

The documentary titled "Let us not delay, now" will be shown, the film highlights the state of public toilets in cities in Nepal and will be officially screened by Hariraj Khewa Limbu, State Finance Minister.

Babiram Pode and Rajesh Deula will highlight sanitary workers condition in Nepal.

The other speakers at the event will include:

  • Baburam Maharjan, Senior Officer, Lalitpur Sub Municipality
  • Shantaram Pokhrel, Chief, Environment Management Division. Kathmandu Metropolitan City
  • Krishna Prasad Acharya, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Physical Planning ad Works
  • Hariraj Khewa Limbu, State Finance Minister
  • Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, Minister Local Development
  • Vote of thanks: Rajendra Aryal, President, FEDWASUN

Guests will also be invited to view a photo exhibition highlighting public toilet state in cities of Nepal.