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One more district becomes free of open defecation!

© UNICEF Nepal/2012
The school children file into the venue carrying placards with various sanitation-related messages.

18 July 2012: Tanahun became the third district (among 75 in the country) to be declared free of open defecation at a very colourful and culturally rich event in Damauli.  Hon Vice President Mr. Paramananda Jha, was the chief guest at the celebrations joined by as many as 40,000 people from all corners of the district. UNICEF representative Ms. Hanaa Singer, who was among the many other special guests who attended the ceremony, also received the special “Token of Love” presented to UNICEF by the District WASH Committee to acknowledge the role it played in ensuring that Tanahun had total sanitation coverage.

On the occasion the Chief Guest unveiled a ceremonial plaque, signed the banner that  congratulated the people of Tanahun on their great achievement of making their district free of open defecation, gave away an official plaque of ODF certification from the National Sanitation & Hygiene Coordination  Committee to the District WASH Coordination Committee, and and launched the commemorative information booklet on the ODF Celebrations .

There were more than a dozen felicitatory speeches from various guests and officials, including from Ms. Singer who congratulated the people of Tanahun for doing Poet Bhanubhakta proud by making sure they left a legacy behind, and not to repent like the poet did as he penned his renowned  Ghaansi poem.
The speeches were interspersed with songs and dances.. representing the multi-ethnic makeup of the district, as well as a photo exhibition with pictures showing the progress of the ODF campaign in the past three years.

Handwashing was going on in full swing at the venue. A total of 10,551 people washed their hands with soap and water during the ODF celebrations! What made the ODF ceremony even more unique in Tanahun was the construction of temporary Eco-San urinals.  Urine from all those visitors and guests who used the facility was collected and taken to Chitwan by the NGO Sewa Nepal that is promoting  Eco-San toilets in Chitwan and other districts



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