National WASH Coalition
The Nepal WASH Coalition brings together a wide group of more than 60 stakeholders. Members include the Department of Water Supply and Sanitation (DWSS), the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS), other national and international partners, and individuals.
The main focus areas of WASH Nepal are coalition building and advocacy for sanitation, to increase public awareness as well as putting sanitation issues on the national political agenda. It believes this should be achieved through:
- expanding national and local networks;
- sharing knowledge and strengthening partnerships with the media;
- lobbying for increased attention and budgets for sanitation issues at the national level;
- disseminating information materials designed to create awareness.
Milestones and achievements
The main achievements of the coalition have been:
- the incorporation in the draft of the new constitution of the right to water and sanitation;
- increased coverage of sanitation in the media, who monitor what is happening under the critical eye of civil society;
- the increasing focus of journalists on issues of latrine usage and hand washing as well as on other social issues associated with sanitation and water;
- the Government’s endorsement of the Sanitation Model District Approach programme, a process initiated by the Nepal WASH group.
Most activities by WASH Nepal are connected with lobbying the Government, working with the media and producing information and advocacy materials.
Advocacy and policy support include:
- the WASH Coalition, Freshwater Action Network and the End Water Poverty Campaign spoke together to argue for the inclusion of the right to water and sanitation in the new constitution. Since 2008, the group has been continuously interacting with parliamentarians, raising the issue within the media network and holding meetings with the constitution committees and specifically with the Women members of the Constitutional Assembly.
- intensive work with parliamentarians promoted sanitation-related issues for the budget speech and strongly advocated a separate sanitation budget line.
- the Sanitation Model District Approach programme, which adopted the School-Led Total Sanitation (SLTS) approach to achieve total sanitation in Chitawan district by 2009, has been continuously monitored by government, WASH group members and other stakeholders.
- in 2010 a study on budget utilisation trends in 3 districts has been conducted.
- the coalition members have supported a strong civil society engagement on the National Sanitation Master Plan and for the country position paper for SacoSan III and IV.
Media collaboration: The coalition is working actively with media figures (including the Federation of Nepali Journalists, FNJ) to promote increased attention to sanitation issues nationally and locally through working with editors and monitoring reporting - frequency, quality, sensitivity and selection of issues. Some of the evolving media activities are the following
Media monitoring: Nepali newspapers are screened for articles on water and sanitation, and the clippings are compiled and distributed
National WASH Media Award: in 2009 the award was launched for journalists for their best feature on sanitation issues and is been now awarded annually
Media Fellowship:in 2010 the fellowship was given to 6 journalists, to build capacity around tehir research and in-depth reporting on water and sanitation issues.
The WASH coalition produces each year a calendar and posters with cartoons showing typical issues in water and sanitation in Nepal.