The declaration of Bajura and Arghakhachi as the 16th and 17th Open Defecation Free (ODF) districts in the country was a major milestone for the GSF Programme in Nepal as it meant that half of the original six GSF supported districts are now ODF (Bhaktapur was declared ODF on the occasion of 5th SACOSAN in November 2013). As ODF declarations in the remaining districts (Bardiya, Sindhupalchowk and Sunsari) are also in the pipelines, the focus of GSF Programme in Nepal has now shifted to the Terai, where GSF is supporting the sanitation campaign is 8 priority districts where the sanitation coverage isless than half of the national average.
The Terai Sanitation Campaign is starting to pick up speed as all GSF partners as well as other stakeholders are intensifying their efforts. Although number of ODF declared Village Development Committees (VDCs) is still low, the environment for a sanitation movement is being created with workshops, training and field level triggering. It is anticipated that within the next few months, the number of toilets and number of people living in ODF communities will increase substantially in these districts.
As we complete the 4th year of GSF in Nepal, we found that we have been working more efficiently than originally planned and will end up saving about USD 1.4 million of the original USD 5 million budget while achieving the all the targeted results. GSF Programme will use this saving to support ODF campaigns in additional districts and also support post ODF campaigns in the six original GSF districts to improve sustainability of the sanitation movements in these districts.
GSF Family in Nepal wishes you a very Happy and Productive 2015.