Kathmandu, March 18, 2014: Lack of disabled-friendly sanitation infrastructures in public places across the country has deprived differently-abled people of their right to water and sanitation. Of 513,321 people with disabilities, 233,235 are females and 280,086 are males. District-wise, Kathmandu has the highest population of people with disabilities (17,122) and Manang the lowest (204).
WaterAid Nepal today launched two reports The Status of Water-borne Disease and Sanitation in Different Districts, and Districtwise Disability Data and Their Access to Status of Their Health and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. Eighty five per cent of households have access to drinking water. Eleven per cent of households rely on non-improved sources of drinking water. The majority of households (82 per cent) do not treat drinking water. Only 46 per cent of households in urban areas treat drinking water compared to 13 per cent in rural areas. Minister for Health and Population Khagaraj Adhikari pledged to take important steps to create a favourable environment for differently-abled citizens. “If the needs of the differently-abled are not prioritised, we will be deprived of talented minds,” he added.
According to the report, people with disabilities do not enjoy their right to water and sanitation because of inaccessible infrastructure of taps and toilets in private houses, in housing colonies and in public places such as government offices, schools, colleges, malls, among others. There are 61 public toilets in the Kathmandu Valley but none of the toilets is disabled-friendly.
Most people with disabilities live in rural areas where access to water and sanitation is even worse because of geography, remoteness, open defecation practice and lack of safe water. Shopping centres, malls, cinema halls, and such other venues in urban areas do not give importance to constructing disabled-friendly sanitation facilities. Not having regular, safe, private and dignified access to water and sanitation facilities adversely affects the health of differently-abled people. Thirty six per cent of households still use open field for defecation. In 2011, 18 per cent of mothers disposed of their children’s feces safely as compared to 26 per cent in 2006 and 41 per cent in 2001.
- Eighty five per cent of households have access to drinking water
- Eleven per cent of households rely on non-improved sources of drinking water
- 82 per cent of households do not treat drinking water
- Only 46 per cent of households in urban areas treat drinking water compared to 13 per cent in rural areas
- Thirty six per cent of households still use open field for defecation. (Source: Himalayan News Service)