Sanitary toilets or latrines, are still, unfortunately, extremely rare in the majority of the country. With many people defecating in the open, the risk of contamination is again very high, especially for children, the sick and elderly. In this area, risk of attack by wild animals was also present.
Hari Bhandary, the founder and chairman of Clinic Nepal, had always recognised these problems and had long had the desire to introduce clean drinking water and sanitation to improve the health of his neighbours. <click to history> Once the Friendship Clinic was established, the next step was therefore obvious – a clean drinking water project and hygienic sanitation facilities for all.
Clean Water Project began in 2001, with the installation of tube wells and pumps, each shared by five to ten households. To date, 241 water pumps have been installed.
Sanitary Latrines in 1997 when Clinic Nepal began of the 2,865 households in Megauli only 213 had a latrine.
Clinic staff visited local villages, family groups, and individual homes to educate people about the importance of personal hygiene and clean food handling practices. For example, the simple act of handwashing after defecation reduces disease tremendously, particularly among children
Mission: providing clean drinking water and sanitation for all
In 10 years, 2,652 sanitary latrines have been installed in Megauli VDC, one per household. Nepal has 3,913 Village Development Communities (VDCs), of which thirteen have been declared a ‘no open latrine' zone. Meghauli is the only one of these communities to have achieved full sanitation, a unique occurrence in Nepal !
To celebrate this “No Open Defecation Zone: status, on 20th April 2009, there was a grand festival in Meghauli organised by Clinic Nepal and the VDC. Students, local people, Clinic Nepal staff and the chief guest, the Local District Development Officer, celebrated this great achievement amidst dancing and music.