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Over 61% of Nepal police offices across the country have no toilets!

trn.gorkhapatraonline.com, 29 March 2014

 

Believe it or not, over 61 per cent of the Nepal Police offices across the country have no toilets, and many police personnel, including policewomen, must undergo an ordeal every time they have to answer the call of nature. According to a news report published in this daily, 1,438 of the 2,335 offices of the Nepal Police in the nation don’t have toilets. Not only toilets, several of the police offices lack basic amenities like barracks, kitchens and even land to erect office buildings.

 

According to the same news report, 1,604 police offices have no kitchen while 862 have no barracks! Few have questioned how the police personnel here could have been maintaining law and order across the country without having a comfortable place to sleep in and toilets to attend to the calls of nature in their office. In the cities, the police personnel use the toilets of private homes and offices while in the villages they have only the open fields.

 

It is indeed shocking that nearly 1,450 police posts and offices are functioning without toilets when efforts are underway to declare all 75 districts of the country open defecation-free zones. A few districts including Kaski, Baglung and Chitwan have already been declared open defecation-free. However, when the police offices themselves do not have toilets, declaring the districts free of open defecation will be a Herculean task.

 

News reports have it that many of the districts were declared open defecation free only on paper. A news reports published in this daily about two months ago had it that 300 houses in a village of Baglung had no toilets even though the district was declared open defecation free.

 

Indeed, it is an irony that the country has received huge donations for sanitation-related programmes this fiscal year. It is a shame that we ask money from the donors to learn to wash our hands with water and soap and build toilets in our homes! When we have built schools and homes, there is no question why we cannot build a toilet on our own.

 

A few NGOs here are cashing in on the poor hygienic habits of our poor people. Our schools and villagers get money from the government and donors to build toilets. But there are a few corrupt headmasters and VDC secretaries who do not hesitate to embezzle the money received thus. In fact, for a few, the donor-funded projects have become money-minting machines.

 

Even if we are to receive more funds to build toilets, the country cannot become open defecation free in the true sense unless we build more public toilets in the towns and along the highways. The districts through which the east-west and north-south highways pass cannot be made open defecation free unless sufficient public toilets are built along the highways.

 

For example, Dhading, Kavre and Sindhupalchowk cannot be declared open defecation-free districts unless toilets are built along the highways for the commuters. However, nothing has been done from the government level to execute this simple task. Simple task because a million rupees is all that is needed to build the required number of public toilets along the highways in a district, which can be managed by the concerned District Development Committees. Even the VDCs and local organisations could be mobilised for it.


Source:trn.gorkhapatraonline.com/index.php/op-ed/8594-police-offices-sans-toilets-bg.html