MANNAKAPADI (DOTI), Oct 11: Chandra Bhul, 60, loathed the idea of having a toilet built near his house. He´d rather walk up to the river nearby, a routine followed by all the villagers of Ballejudi village in Mannakapadi VDC of Doti district.
But Chandra´s habit changed after he started to use the toilet his son built near their house. Now, he feels more comfortable using the toilet within the compound of his house and even preaches others about its benefits.
“Now, I only use the toilet in my house,” said Chandra.
Today, all of the 25 homes in Ballejudi village have concrete toilets and the residents talk of the early morning ritual by the banks of the river as a fairy tale.
“We used to walk up and down the hills looking for a safer place to defecate. It was terrible, especially, during the night. But it´s all over now,” recalled 69 years old Surmati Devi KC. KC said she defecated in the open until the age of 61.
So impressed are the villagers with the change that they have started to fine anybody found defecating in the open.
“Our village started to look much cleaner ever since people started use toilets,” said Birendra Kotkeni, a local.
Birendra informed that people were always nervous about being bitten by snakes while going out to defecate. “Though often heard in the past, the incidences of snake bites haven´t been heard lately,” said Birendra.
“During regular inspections, we try to persuade people to construct a toilet at their houses. The initiative has begun to show results,” according to Raghunath Joshi, secretary of the VDC.
Doti District Development Committee (DDC), the VDC office and Nepal Water for Health (NEWAH) has informed about the plan to declare Mannakapadi as an open-defecation free VDC by December 14.
“Authorities and villagers have stepped up efforts to build more toilets in the village following the announcement of the plan,” said Nindra Devi, a resident.