The representatives said construction of water and sanitation facilities for users with disabilities did not seem mandatory in most public places and private institutions, as a result of which people with disabilities have not been able to be independent.
Speaking at an interaction on ‘Recognising Inclusive WASH Rights to Ensure Dignified Lives of People with Disabilities’ in the capital today, Ram Chandra Devkota, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Urban Development, said, “The government has formulated disabled-friendly water and sanitation policies, however, lacks the drive to implement them.”
He urged government officials, civil societies, development partners and private institutions to come together through public-private partnership scheme in constructing disabled-friendly infrastructure.
“The standard of disabled-friendly infrastructure should be followed by regular monitoring,” he said, adding, “Access to safe water and sanitation facilities should be mandatory in development works as well.” He said disabled-friendly toilets and water facilities are necessary infrastructure to ease daily activities of the elderly, children and pregnant women, besides people with disability.
Amrita Gyawali, Equity and Inclusion Consultant at WaterAid Nepal, informed that there are 61 public toilets in Kathmandu and none of them is disabled-friendly. “Priority has not been given to construction of water and sanitation facilities for users with disabilities in most public and private institutions,” she said.
Similarly, in rural context, access to water and sanitation for people with disabilities is more critical because of geographical location, practice of open defecation and lack of safe water.
“The growing number of public buildings in urban areas do not have ramps and wheelchair accessible toilets either,” she said.
The representatives of various business houses, media houses, academia and public institutions jointly made an appeal to commit to establishing disabled-friendly sanitation and water infrastructures by 2017.
Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on Mountains and Climate linked issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last five years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in the Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>