A Village Of 41 Households Without Functional Toilets

Outsiders are often shocked to learn that not a single house in the village of Aarthumka, Bandipur Rural Municipality-2 in Tanahun district has usable toilets. But it is true.
The village of 41 households does not have even one operational lavatory, quite a surprise considering the then Bandipur Village Development Committee was declared Nepal’s first eco-friendly local unit by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and that the district of Tanahun as a whole has officially been open-defecation free for more than a decade.
Once upon a time, Aarthumka did have toilets. In fact, it had five. But a lack of water put them all out of operation. “We don’t even have enough water to drink. How can anyone expect us to have water for flushing and cleaning?” asked 21-year-old Amisha Bhujel. “We don’t have toilets because we don’t have the water for them. It’s that simple,” she remarked.
“Our sole source of water is a small well just below the village. So, we have to use it wisely and only for the absolute necessities. We don’t have the luxury to use water for flushing toilets,” said 60-year-old Resham Lal Bhujel.
Village leader Sani Maya Bhujel said that a handful of toilets that had been built in the past had now become storehouses for tools and baskets.
Due to a lack of toilets, local youth Amisha said that the villagers were forced to go to the surrounding forests to answer nature’s calls. “But this is risky, especially in the monsoon, as there are poisonous snakes out and about. Also, one may be attacked by wild animals,” she said. “We will be more than happy to build and use toilets if we get enough water.”
Villager Shree Lal Bhujel, 67, also said that villagers would build toilets if every house received a regular water supply. “Nobody likes to defecate in the forest,” he said, adding, “If we get water, we will build toilets ourselves.”
Chairman of Bandipur Rural Municipality Purna Singh Thapa said that the local government had allocated budget to manage drinking water for Aarthumka. He also said that the rural municipality would help anyone willing to build toilets for the villagers.

Source : TRN,