A Musahar settlement in Rautahat lacks land to build toiletsLocal government-run open defecation free programme fails to take off.
The 100-odd households of Musahar community at the ninth ward of Chandrapur Municipality in Rautahat do not have toilets at their homes.
The dearth of lavatories in the settlement means its residents take their business outdoors.
A local government-run open defecation free programme in the settlement has failed to take off due to the lack of land to construct toilet facilities.
Although the municipal office had distributed toilet pans and concrete rings in the settlement five months ago, they lie unused.
The municipal officials and local representatives have repeatedly asked the households to build toilets, but to no avail.
“Where would we build toilets when we don’t even have enough living space?” said Siyaram Musahar, a local man. “There is no point in pressuring us to build toilets. We need land.”
The settlement is built on a public land. Most of the huts are crammed tightly, with little to no space in between.
The people in the settlement, most of whom eke out their living as daily wage workers, complained that they neither have land nor money to build toilets.
They said the local government should find another solution.
Gobinda Dulal, chairman of Chandrapur Ward No. 9, admitted that the open defecation free programme failed due to the lack of land plots to build toilets on.
“We provided the necessary materials to construct toilets in the settlement. But the programme beneficiaries are telling us that they don’t have space for toilets,” said Dulal.
For now, Dulal sees no solution to the problem.
Open defecation is still commonplace in Rautahat, even though the district was declared open defecation free in December 2018.
Toilet facilities are non-existent or limited in many places, including Dumariya, Badaharwa, Dhamaura, Laximpur and Cetnagar.
According to that data at the district’s sanitation office, 2,576 households in Rautahat still do not have toilets.