Tuesday, November 24, 2020

As part of the monitoring system, Open Defecation Free (ODF) certification was instituted to keep track of sanitation progress and to recognize gewogs and Dzongkhags for their achievements annually during World Toilet Day.Bhutan achieved improved sanitation in only half of its 205 gewogs, today with 10 more gewogs achieving ODF status and 100 percent improved sanitation coverage. Today, all six gewogs from Wangduephodrang dzongkhag, three from Dagana and one from Trashiyangtse are being recognized for their achievement. The recognition takes the total number of gewogs with ODF status and 100 percent improved sanitation to 103 gewogs. Among the dzongkhags, Wangduephodrang becomes the fifth Dzongkhag after Tsirang, Trongsa, Mongar and Samdrup Jongkharto achieve ODF status in all its gewog this year.Today as we observe World Toilet Day, the Government commits to making Bhutan ODF with access to improved sanitation (Pour flush with running water) by 2022. Lyonpo Dechen Wangmo in her statement said “while we have made great progress, we cannot be complacent, but continue to spearhead until every household are fully equipped with sustained and safely managed sanitation and hygiene facilities. It is not a far dream to redefine the “ improve sanitation” to include a flush toilet along with a provision for a separate shower room with a solar water heater.Today as the Nation prepares for LDC graduation, we must work together to make the improved sanitation a reality for every Bhutanese household” In addition, the National Sanitation and Hygiene Policy 2020 has come into force this year as a collaboration between various stakeholders and the Ministry of Health to sets forth safe management and guidance of health and hygiene in the country. With much expectations, we hope that making toilets accessible and adequate for the Bhutanese population and keeping them hygienic and safe for all is facilitated by this policy. We also solicit collaboration from all sectors, CSOs, private entities and even individuals in realizing this dream.

For those who are interested the policy can be found here http://www.moh.gov.bt/…/ict-files/2020/08/NSHP_final.pdf