On World Water Day, Siraha takes the first step towards ODF


It is a day to prepare for the future, to cherish what has been achieved and plan what is yet to be achieved.

World Water Day is celebrated on 22 March every year since 1993. World Water Day 2015 celebrated the theme Water and Sustainable Development.

"Water is still unequal," says Claire Finas, Country Director SNV Nepal/Bhutan. According to the National Management Information Project Report, Nepal has achieved 83.59% water supply coverage and 70.28% sanitation coverage (NMIP, 2014). Yet functionality of these supplies remains a significant issue, and many still do not have access to potable water.

"Water is foundation," (Nadira Khawaja, SNV), "it is civilization," (Anup Regmi, SNV), "it is life," (Kabir Rajbhandari, SNV) and "it is everything," (Shankar Pathak, SNV). Water takes different forms and affects different aspects of life. It deserves a day to be celebrated!

On this particular day, Gadha VDC of Siraha district took pride in celebrating their achievement of creating an open-defecation-free (ODF) village--a notable milestone considering that in July 2014 only 13% of the households had a toilet and that Siraha district is amongst the districts with the lowest sanitation coverage in Nepal.

Representatives from government departments, local level political parties, media, community people and development organisations attended the declaration ceremony. The event started with nine joint victory rallies from the women’s group, youth and school child clubs and the community. A sanitation cultural programme held at the declaration ceremony positively impacted the gathered mass. The cultural programme created awareness among those from adjoining VDCs and implanted a wish of declaring their own VDCs ODF in the near future.

Furthermore, different speakers congratulated the community at the declaration ceremony. "It is a historical mark that Gadha community is standing towards the great achievement of Siraha district. Our support for such type of work will continue and I would like to thank SNV/NRCS for its role, responsibility and their great support for this milestone. ODF declaration is not enough because the challenge now is its sustainability and thus we should sincerely think and focus on follow-up activities" said Mr Gopal Kumar Adhikari (Local Development Officer, Siraha District) and he further announced a significant sum of money for development projects as an encouragement to Gadha VDC of Siraha district.

Without water, life cannot sustain nor ODF!