Kathmandu Metropolitan City has decided to accord priority to heritage sites and busy marketplaces while constructing public toilets.According to a recent meeting of various departments of KMC led by Deputy Mayor Hari Prabha Khadgi Shrestha, public toilets will be constructed in conformance with design and location fixed by the Urban Planning Commission of KMC. According to KMC Rs 30 million was allocated to build sanitation facilities for current fiscal.
The UPC has prepared 20 different designs of public toilets to be constructed in the metropolis. KMC may adopt any of the designs depending on location, available budget and requirement. They also envision the attached bathroom accessible for all. The meeting also decided to work in partnership with petrol pumps, hotels, restaurants, private and public buildings and business enterprises to allow the public to use their toilets by providing them certain amount on an annual basis.
Poor sanitation of existing public toilets in urban areas have deprived people of toilet facility. Currently, the metropolis has 62 public toilets, out of which only 28 are usable while rest are in need of repair.A study jointly conducted by KMC, Lalitpur Metropolitan City, Kirtipur Municipality and Madhyapur Thimi Municipality in March showed that public toilets in the valley were not clean, lacked access to adequate water, had poor infrastructure and did not meet the needs of women and people with disabilities. There is approximately one public toilet for every 64,000 residents in the valley.
The meeting committed to building solidarity with stakeholders to ensure that public toilets are safe, clean and accessible for all and cater to the needs of people of different gender and age groups. Though Nepal has been declared open defecation free country open defecation is still a common sight in Kathmandu and other parts of the country.
Source: Himalayan Times, 31st January, 2020