SOLUKHUMBU, Nov 4: With still more than fifty percent of the households in the district without toilets, the plan to declare Solukhumbu district an open-defecation free (ODF) zone by 2017 seems all but impossible.
According to Water Supply and Sanitation Sub Division Office (WSSSDO), Solukhumbu, out of the 21,860 households in the district, only 3,400 households have modern toilets. Another 6,000 households have been using makeshift toilets and the rest 12,000 households defecate in the open.
Only two village development committees of the district have so far been declared as ODF out of the 34 VDCs in the district.
Dev Nath Singh, engineer at WSSSDO, said Gudel and Tamakhani VDCs were declared open defecation free zones after a long and rigorous effort. Singh also informed that NGOs in the district have been working toward making the district an open defecation free zone.
However, they have not been coordinating with the government agencies. Singh said things have become difficult as the NGOs are working on their own without consulting the government agencies.
VDCs like Charikharka, Namche and Khumjung in the Khumbu region of the district have improved toilets whereas a majority of the households in other VDCs do not have any toilets at all. The Chheskam VDC which has around 800 households has only four toilets. Most of the people in the Chheskam VDC defecate in the open.
The Water Supply and Sanitation Office says the households do not have toilets as people in the region lack awareness about sanitation.