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Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Cluster: Website
With water, sanitation, and medical infrastructure being severely damaged and people living and defecating in the open, providing appropriate means of sanitation is essential to preventing an outbreak of diseases in Nepal. There is currently a risk of cholera, dysentery, and other water-borne disease which will only get worse as the monsoon season begins in June. In a country where a major outbreak of cholera affected more than 300,000 people in 2009, another outbreak could occur. Reports of diarrheal disease outbreaks have already started surfacing.
We are currently looking to assist a group of volunteers or organization that will or already is deploying sanitary toilets to the affected areas, especially crowded areas with thousands of people with limited or no toilet access. Fundraising efforts are currently ongoing here and locally in the Syracuse, New York area. If you have already raised funds and are looking to consolidate funds for this cause, please write to us.
If you know of any organization/individual already working specifically on sanitary toilets, please email the admin with information. The only people currently on the ground working on toilets we are aware of are Milan Rai (pictures here) and a UNICEF consultant (Larry Robertson). Collaborative effort would be beneficial and efficient. Meetings with these people and others in Nepal are ongoing.
Providing sanitary toilets is a high priority. Human needs do not cease in the wake of a disaster, and diseases do not wait to strike until other problems have subsided. Rather, disease is more of a threat now than normally, and it must be prevented to allow relief workers and those affected by the earthquake to recover swiftly.
Additionally, any development of sustainable sanitation methods has the ability to be a continuing tool for improving the lives of Nepalis as was shown by Haiti’s composting programs (SOIL). Perhaps this would be a good opportunity to start thinking about beginning sustainable sanitation methods in Nepal. Conditions now are unsustainable and unsanitary in many places.
If you are willing to donate either time or resources to this cause, please contact us to arrange for your donation. There are several important links below on ecological sanitary (EcoSan) toilets including papers on EcoSan in emergency context.
Thank you for your compassion and concern and keep visiting our page for updates on the effort.
Some important links on deployable toilets for current and future:
Deployable Digesting Toilet
The SOIL Guide To EcoSan which includes information about implementing Ecological Sanitation toilets and waste treatment.
Gov. of Nepal: Ministry/Department of Education:Cost estimates for temporary WASH facilities – latrines
If you are thinking of building pit latrines in your area or currently building them on your own, please consider WHO recommendations (click here). It is important since we do not want to contaminate ground water.
Why sanitation is a big concern?
We are currently collaborating with local organizations ENPHO (Environment & Public Health Organization: http://www.enpho.org/), and Population, Women, Environment Development Organization (PWEDO) to build sanitary toilets in Nuwakot.
We start training our volunteers in Nuwakot starting Sunday , May 31st. If you know of any individual or group interested in getting trained on building sanitary toilets so they can implement elsewhere please write to us and we will get you connected.
ENPHO is currently designated to build sanitary toilets in four Village Development Committees (VDCs) in Nuwakot by UNICEF. PWEDO is providing us with volunteers to help assist in building sanitary toilets where needs are pressing. Our volunteers from PWEDO will first assist ENPHO in two of the VDCs, Thanapati and Sunakhani in Nuwakot, and get trained during the process. We will then mobilize them in Thansing in Nuwakot as it is one of the worst affected areas. Based on the WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) Cluster documents, the following information has been gathered for Thansing.
- Most houses destroyed
- Market not functioning
- Limited safe water and toilet facilities
- HHs rapidly running out of food and limiting food intake
The Nepal WASH Cluster is led by the Department of Water Supply and Sewerage, Ministry of Urban Development, Government of Nepal, and co-lead by UNICEF.
We are still in the process of gathering information on what locations to focus on after Thansing that will benefit from our help the most.
We are currently discussing Environmental & Public Health Organization , an NGO in Nepal, as the potential organization for our project. ENPHO has experience in providing ecological sanitary toilets in Nepal and has previously built sanitary toilets for OXFAM and UNICEF. More information on their work on sanitary toilets in Nepal can be found on their annual report here. Our team member in Nepal, Ang Sanu Lama, was in touch with Mingma Gyalgen Sherpa, member secretary of ENPHO board. ENPHO appears to be focusing on pit latrines and pre-fabricated units for disaster relief. They will be focusing on Kavre and Dhading (through UNICEF) and Sindhupalchok (through OXFAM).
A pit latrine is supposed to serve 20 people during times of disaster and their estimate for one pit latrine is NRs 5000 ($49). In peri-ubran areas they plan on having a service chain where people regularly empty the toilet once it gets filled.
We are currently trying to focus on the areas that have fallen off the radar of relief workers (suggested areas include: Godam Chaur, Thecho, Sagha, Kirtipur, Nuwakot). This needs to be substantiated by secondary data and physical surveys of areas in and around Kathmandu. There seems to be organizations already working on building toilets in several places, so we do not want to duplicate efforts. Toilet efforts we are currently aware of are below and they may have undergone updates since we last heard about them. We are also not sure how many toilets there are in each area. Our team member is currently in Sindhupalchok, Bhadegau 6 to know the ground situation. If you think our list is outdated or have more information, please write to us. We can update and plan accordingly.
|Kathmandu||OXFAM/UNICEF/Milan Rai and volunteers|
|Kokhana||ECCA/Group of volunteers|
|Rasuwa||Save the Children|
|Squatter Settlements (Area?)||Lumanti|
According to Larry Robertson, a UNICEF consultant, it appears that big donor organizations are currently in dialogue with the CDOs disaster relief committee (DRC) (it is mandatory) to discuss areas to cover. According to him, one of the biggest problems in outside districts is that there is a lack of human resource to build toilets. So one way to help efforts in building toilets is to send volunteers, coordinate volunteers from outside the district to the DRC and to donors. If we have committed volunteers, we can ask them to be trained through organizations such as ENPHO. ENPHO has about 50-60 staff members which is not enough during times like these as they are busy doing other relief work, such as providing clean drinking water.
There are several organizations (Population Women Education Development Organization and AYON) that have pledged volunteers/fundraising for our project. But we need more volunteers and financial assistance. ENPHO intends to train committed volunteers and take them outside districts. They will have a volunteer package for committed volunteers and those volunteering outside Kathmandu Valley will need to commit a week.
If you would like to get involved in any way please write to us. The person in Nepal directly and actively involved is Ang Sanu Lama. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved. Getting involved also includes:
- Finding out the ground situation
- Existing efforts happening from govt, international orgs, local orgs, individuals and groups, so we do not duplicate the effort
- Look for volunteers to help in our effort in building toilets
For any organization interested in employing sanitary toilets like that in Haiti, please get in touch with us. We have teams with experience in designing and building human waste composting systems in Syracuse, Haiti, and Guatemala willing to share their designs.