14 million Nepalese shit in the open

So reads the hoarding board inside the Bhat Bhateni supermarket complex and a few other places in Kathmandu.

Part of the World’s Longest Toilet Queue campaign targeted towards World Water day 2010 (celebrated every year on the 22 of March) the text roughly translated reads

Even today, 14 million Nepalese all over the country defecated in the open.

Will the national target of a one toilet per house in seven years be achieved in a new Nepal?

Come join hands in Tundikhel on the 9 of Chaitra (22 March 2009) to support a cleanliness campaign for all.

14 million is almost half of Nepal’s total population. This is a staggering  number who open the Pandora’s box every time they lift their dresses to shit in the open fields. Around 16,000 Nepalese fall victim to water borne diseases every year because of open defecation, poor hygiene conditions and water related problems. Last year’s diarrhoea outbreak in Jajarkot with a death toll of  282 people too was attributed to drinking contaminated water.

Much can be avoided by spreading awareness on simple hygiene and sanitation requisites. A simple gesture of washing hands before meals and after using the toilet too goes a long way towards safeguarding one’s health.
NB: See photos of supporters queueing up in front of a toilet. (flickr group)

  • Its

    Just reminded me of my field visit to Dadeldhura where a concrete toilet had been used as a store place. The reason behind was that the toilet got some damages and also poor water supply. People cudnt afford rebuilding. Instead they just dug a pit in their agricultural field and cover when the work was done. I think thier effort was sustainable and hygenic

  • Biggybig

    no country is perfect not even yours…

    • I never said Nepal was perfect but I’m loving it.