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Sanitation Campaign Kicked Off


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A coalition of civil society organizations, media and parliamentarians from across South Asia have started their discussion on tackling sanitation crisis in South Asia in Kathmandu in connection of the launch of regional campaign on sanitation on 19th March. 
A delegation of eleven members of parliaments from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka meet the community who made successful efforts to improve sanitation in order to witness the gravity of situation women, children and poor are facing not having proper toilets and the progress made with community participation.
John Montague, Earl of Sandwich, UK described the visit: “We learned that the women can make loans for other purposes beyond toilets such as weddings and funerals or animals for agriculture. But the main thing is that the cost-recovery is very high, making the fund self-sufficient. It was very impressive to hear that the women are in the lead in recommending as well as paying for what is done.
Civil Organization deliberated whole day on citizens’ charter to right to sanitation, a vision for prosper South Asia and dignified citizens. The charter is an aspiration of citizens of South Asia for dignified lives and freedom from diarrhoea, malnutrition and discrimination. 
‘It is a shame that one billion people in South Asia don’t have access to improved toilets and 700 million defecate in open’, it is issue of dignity, privacy and development for women, said Dr. Vijaya Shrestha regional coordination of campaign. 
Citizens of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, gathered in Kathmandu and adopted a citizens’ charter to right to sanitation, charter have called upon governments to recognise sanitation as a legally enforceable right fundamental for human health, dignity, empowerment and development, spend at least 1% of GDP to achieve universal access to sanitation. Ensure universal access to sanitation including in all households, schools, health centres, work places, public buildings and public spaces/places. Charter also call upon government to address the stigma of impurity and pollution ascribed to sanitation, especially to menstruation and to those providing sanitation services, and eliminate all forms of manual scavenging 
Charter called on donors to prioritise and considerably increase financial allocations to sanitation, focusing on the most off-track countries with low domestic resources. Increase investment in sanitation programmes and infrastructure in rural areas with special emphasis on marginalised and excluded communities.
Sanitation situation is not tolerable and it is an affront on the nations, it need to be changed, inequity in services provision, lack of resources and poor governance are the major challenges in the region. Through the launch of a regional sanitation campaign, we will highlight the fact that water and sanitation are the building blocks out of poverty, underlying all areas of development, to encourage governments to take immediate action, said Mustafa talpur regional advocacy manager Wateraid-South Asia.
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Further reading:  Draft Citizens’ Charter | Media Brief | News