Looking for a public facility in KMC? Look for this sign

Kathmandu Metropolitan City has unveiled a new signage symbol which will make it easier for the public to locate a facility when in need. Unveiling the logo on its official website, KMC has said the logo will allow public to easily identify the availability of a facility.

According to the website, “the logo features a blue ring with the words Sarwajanik Sauchalaya (सार्वजनिक सौचलय) and Public Toilet with two icons for males and females respectively”.

As KMC comes under new leadership, its newly elected mayor, independent Balendra Shah has continuously focused on increasing the number of public facilities within the metropolitan area. His administration’s decision to get the private sector on board has been met with a positive response, with several restaurants and Syakar Trading Company, the official distributors of Honda automobiles coming forward to allowing the public to use their facilities. KMC has asked interested restaurants, organisations, banks, commercial institutions to come forward if interested in allowing to use their facilities to the public.

According to a report by the City Planning Commission published in 2019, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City has a total of 56 public toilets. If we are to go by recent reports on various national dailies, Kathmandu Valley has a total of 65 public toilets, excluding hospitals, public offices, parks, and petrol pumps. These toilets serve over one million inhabitants of the central capital on a daily basis – the need for increasing public toilets was important.

With the iron on the subject of public toilets being hot within the public sphere, perhaps KMC can also begin focusing on improving inclusivity by improving accessibility of toilets within people living with a disability. According to a 2020 report by Aawaaj News, “there are only three accessible public toilets in Kathmandu. One in Bhrikutimandap, another in Koteshwor and the third one is located in Ratnapark”.

In 2019, KMC had plans to renovate four public toilets in the Valley to make them accessible, however never got around to it.

Additionally, being the LGBTQIA(+) History Month and the pride flag splashed over different spectrums of media, may be we can also consider adding gender friendly toilets? Just an idea.