Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sanitation Projects in the Offing in Chitwan

THT Online
Kathmandu, September 26

The Department of Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation (DWSS), UN Shelter Programme UN-HABITAT) and local communities are working to provide total sanitation in two towns of Chitwan district.
In this connection, the Bharatpur and Ratnanagar municipalities, the DWSS and the UN- HABITAT recently signed an agreement to carry out Country Level Capacity Building of Stakeholders on Total Sanitation and Promotion of School-Led Total Sanitation programme.
The project will be implemented by DWSS in partnership with Water Supply and Sanitation Division, local non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders.
"This is a new effort to provide sanitation education in towns, which had been left unaddressed," said Dr Roshan Raj Shrestha, the chief technical advisor to UN-HABITAT, Water for Asian Cities programme.
In the $274,100 project, the DWSS will contribute $23,000, UN-HABITAT $97,600 and the remaining $153,500 will be provided by the local community.
The project will benefit 150 professionals, 1,000 students from 50 schools and 1,500 members of local child-clubs. In addition, it will help provide toilet facilities in 2,500 households.
"Our target is to provide health and hygiene services to all communities from two municipalities of Chitwan," he said.
The main objective of the programme is to take an initiative to institutionalise monitoring and evaluation system and also to make stakeholders responsible and accountable towards effective monitoring, evaluation, follow-up, reporting and documentation of health and sanitation programmes.
According to government reports, 54 per cent of the country's population still lacks latrines.
"The project has been prepared to empower the stakeholders and undertake monitoring and follow-up action with a view to promoting total sanitation for achieving Millennium Development Goals," Dr Shrestha added.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Piped water for landless in Tanahu village

Razen Manandhar
Tanahu, September 25:

First time in the country, over 400 families without proper land-ownership will have rinking water pipelines in a hilly village of Khairenitar in Tanahu district, around 30 km south-east of Pokhara.
The consumers of the locality have identified the families, which do not own legal land, as
“extremely poor” and have provided them with pipelines through special requests of the local consumer group, though according to the government rules, one requires to produce land-ownership certificate to subscribe to piped drinking water.
The 20.4-million-rupee-project of Khairenitar Small Town Water Supply and Sanitation Project (KSTWSSP) — a joint effort of the government, the consumers as well as the Asian Development Bank — is now in the final stage. The project is going to benefit 4,634 people in 808 households.
The project has earmarked Rs 19.8 million for water and Rs 0.5 million for sanitation. For this the government will provide a loan of Rs 6.5 million through Town Development Fund to the consumer groups.
In general, each of the subscribers has to pay Rs 16,000 but the extremely poor can get the same for Rs 7,800 in 24 installments. They will get additional free fitting service worth Rs 3,200. Poor who own houses, have to pay Rs 12,200 in 12 installments. For water, they will pay Rs 40 per month for 60 cubic litres of water and an additional Rs 6 for each cubic litre.
Some 855 households have already been provided with pipelines, of which eight are “extremely poor” and 13 are poor. KSTWSSP collected Rs 1.55 million in last fiscal year from them.
The project also provides building material worth Rs 2,500 to each of the poor families to build toilets.
However, the user group is facing problems, as the installed water treatment plant does not function properly during the monsoons. “With help of UN-HABITAT supported project, we will install a pre-treatment plant and work on capacity building for the consumers,” said Ram Chandra Upadhyaya, the secretary of the committee.
“The consumer group is now working on Khairenitar model as a demonstration project, making it a source of inspiration for surrounding towns,” said Laxmi Sharma, project officer of STWSSP for Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The project has a cost-sharing modality between the government and the beneficiaries.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Man in Japan sponsors Nepalis’ education

Razen Manandhar
Yokohama, September 6[2007]:

He calls it “Bazaro”, that’s the closest he comes to pronouncing the word bazaar. Over 20 people in the three-storey building in the Kusugaya area of Yakohama city work on different handicraft products from Nepal and he manages to dispatch them to over 700 shops all over the country. This is what he means by the organisation called “Nepali Bazaro”, which promotes Nepali products in Japan and provides scholarships to 200 Nepali children every year.
For the past 15 years, Tsucihya Kanji has been operating a kind of NGO in Yokohama, selling Nepali goods since 1992.
Kanji, in his late fifties, told The Himalayan Times, “Every morning, I wake up thinking about Nepal and my days end with Nepal’s images in my mind. The simple and honest Nepali faces come to my mind when I look at their products.”
“It is all I can do for my love to the country. It is my small effort to provide some comfort to Nepal. I wish I could do more,” he added.
His social work started in a small scale and a well-paid employee at Mitsubishi Electric Company, he slowly got himself obsessed with Nepal to the extent that he finally gave up his job in 1997 and concentrated on his firm Nepali Bazaro Ltd, which promotes Nepali craft products in Japan and provides scholarships for Nepali children out of the profit it makes.
Nepal Bazaro imports coffee, tea, spices, threads, cotton, incense sticks, embroidery works, clay works, bamboo works, and other crafts goods. And after re-packing them with information of the products in Japanese language, he dispatches them to Japanese shops.
For the past six years, he has been providing scholarships to over 200 students and is thinking of doing something more. “We are now thinking about providing scholarships to more students,” he said.
He said the demand for Nepali products is growing in Japan these days. Earlier, it was tough introducing some thing from Nepal, a country known to few people in Japan.
“We used to roam around shops, from mornings to evenings and tried to leave some goods to be displayed at their windows. First they openly refused to give space and later agreed to take in the condition that they would pay us back only after those goods are sold. And it went on endlessly,” he said.
The consumers love Nepali goods because they are natural, organic, and comfortable for wearing, according to him.
“Nepalis are hard-working but they are yet to understand the significance of quality production. Sometimes, it becomes really difficult to work with them. Still, I’m hopeful that the quality of production will improve,” he said.
Among others, he has taken initiatives to run a proper shop named “Verda” to promote goods from Nepali Bazaro in Yokohama. He said that in the bustling city like Yokohama, his shop is doing “not bad” business and more than profit, he is concentrating on introducing Nepali products in the country. Apart from this, he has published six books on Nepali folk stories in Japanese language. (Mr Manandhar was recently in Japan)