Friday, June 20, 2008

Call to Make Leaders Aware of Sanitation Issues

THT Online
Kathmandu, June 20

Leaders of different political parties on Thursday conceded that Nepali leaders lacked proper knowledge of issues related to water and sanitation.
Constituent Assembly member from the Nepali Congress Nabinra Raj Joshi admitted that politicians in the country had little knowledge of water and sanitation issues. "I have to admit that water and sanitation situation is pathetic in the country. I would like to receive some inputs on the issue to raise voice in the CA," he said at a discussion programme organised by Water Aid Nepal.
He urged experts to provide enough inputs to politicians so that they would work for making a better policy on water use.
"Kathmandu badly needs a policy governing water. I want your support to guide us to have it," he said, adding that the politicians would support a water master plan prepared by experts.
UML leader Ananda Pokhrel said water has a big impact on the entire population but the government has yet to prioritise the issue. "The government and political leaders have never been committed to develop water and sanitation sector," he said.
He also maintained that a mere earmarking of budget for water and sanitation sector would not be sufficient and there should be a master plan to guarantee water and sanitation services to the population.
CPN-Maoist CA member Parbati Thapa said the whole system should be overhauled to guarantee basic rights of water and sanitation to the people.
"We cannot imagine of better service in the existing political system. Even guaranteeing right to drinking water in the constitution is not enough," she said.
Madheshi Janadhikar Forum representative Upendra Jha said the problem of water and sanitation emerged in Nepal because of the government's tendency to beg support from foreign countries.
"Most of the development works in Nepal are more focused on getting commissions and kickbacks. The policymakers do not want to solve the problem here," he said.

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