GAIGHAT, Oct 23: Although the district was declared open defecation-free zone (ODFZ) two years ago, approximately 40 percent toilets have remained useless, said a study by the District Drinking Water and Sanitation Division Office (DDWSDO).
The study conducted recently has questioned the practical aspects of the campaign to declare district ODFZ.
The study carried out in about 15 VDCs shows that about 40 percent toilets constructed to declare the district ODFZ have remained unused.
Lack of awareness has played a crucial role in this regard, said journalist Kaushal Chemjong, also part of the study.
Although each house under the study has toilet, it has remained useless, said journalist Bhotraj Rai, also member of the study team.
He said these toilets have instead been serving as a coop and animal shed. A lack of water is attributed to the failure to use toilets.
However, some Tarai VDCs like Hadiya, Jogidaha, Sundarpur and Tapeshwori where the study was conducted have water facility, 50 percent of local residents still do not use toilets, said the study.
Local resident Pradip Narayan Chaudhary said the trend of defecating in the open or on the banks of rivers has prompted the constructed toilets to remain useless. A lack of awareness has also contributed, he added.
When asked, Chief of DDWSDO Udayapur branch Ram Kumar Shrestha attributed to a lack of awareness for the situation.
In order to declare the district ODFZ two years ago, around 65,000 toilets were constructed for about 64,500 households at 40 VDCs and three municipalities. RSS