Monday, August 15, 2011

Women Leading In Toilet Construction Work & Support To Family

The Kamalamai Integrated Water Sanitation and Hygiene (KIWASH) improvement project in Kamalamain Municipality in Sindhuli District, in the Janakpur zone of central south Nepal has envisaged adhering equity and inclusion prospective in project activities. The Centre for Integrated Urban Development (CIUD) has been working there in partnership with WaterAid in Nepal (WAN) since 2005 to provide safe and adequate water and sanitation including improvement in hygiene. One of the components is to facilitate and support in household sanitation improvement primarily focusing poor and marginalized communities in peri urban areas.
Bathanchoudi is one of the communities where toiletfacilities are being constructed. A local user committee “Bathanchoudi Batawara Tatha Tole Sudhar Samiti” has been formed to run the construction works smoothly and to make the community people accountable towards the development works and maintain the transparency. The majority of the committee members are women and from marginalized group i.e. Danuwar community. The leadership of the committee is run by Sarita Danuwar as a president of the committee.
Sarita shares how she has been through the hurdles during the project implementation at her community, where most of the people are illiterate and extremely poor.
“The community people tried to find a local mason in the community for construction of toilet rings and slabs, but they were unable to find one. There was a mason in the community who has been involved in the civil construction works earlier, but his work was not satisfactory. Besides,  I also visualized that by involving another mason, the community could not afford it. There is no other alternative except to motivate the community. But the challenge is that local people have to go for collection and loading boulders from a nearby river for their daily earnings and no one showed confidence to build the rings.”
To overcome these hurdles in the community, Sarita visited the project sites where the construction work is going and collected the information and knowledge from there.  With the proper knowledge and guidance from the CIUD site office staff and the neighbouring community she wanted to try producing rings by herself. She did get support from her family as well as from the community. Sarita’s husband Saroj Danuwar equally supported her to start this process. Her first attempt to construct rings was successful without any construction training. She is not only helping the community in constructing rings but is also producing rings at affordable cost. On average one ring cost Rs. 500.

The family earning source before was only the labour work on the river side i.e. loading boulders which is not sufficient even to run a small family. The skill developed by Sarita as well as the support from the family has helped to generate good income. Sarita earns Rs. 500 for her work , constructing 10 rings for a toilet. In the project period she did construct 10 rings a day.This case of Sarita shows that a woman can be a leader as well as good supporter for her family.
Sarita added that, “the toilet materials are being transported to the households by tractor so that it less work and  for the people and they don’t have to spend extra time for collecting materials. The rings have been constructed timely and are of good quality. The community people are satisfied with the committee’s work. But still there is one obstacle as some people in this community have no space of their own for toilet construction, including myself. So, we requested formally to the Community Forest Committee to provide land for construction of a toilet. The committee accepted our request and granted land for constructing toilet, which has helped the community to make the place a better one.”

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Study On "The Importance of Tudhikhel" BY CIUD, Urban Dabali
At Kathmandu, with rapid urbanization and rapid settlement growth open spaces are declining. This results in a dense urban area with less or no open space, narrow roads and lack of adequate greeneries. This makes courtyards, shaded all the time with little or no ventilation, creating an unhygienic environment as well as it shows the less awareness towards disaster vulnerability. The study done by CIUD on December 2010 shows the importance of Tudhikhel in various ways.
Tundhikhel is an area that provides a large open space to the citizens where they can pursue various forms of activities. It is used for various parades, national celebrations and festivals i.e Fulpati, Ghodejatra, Sarswati pooja etc.  Similarly for the sports and general exercise as well. Some historical area of Tudhikhel has been taken away by the government to set up the Ratna Park, and then the Open Air Theatre in the northern side, the Army Officers Club, in the southern side.
The main objectives behind this study is to find out the importance and awareness of Tudhikhel to the valley residenters. Similarly, other specific objectives are to find out the number of people floating and the activities performed by them inside Tudhikhel and to find out the access for quick rehabilitation viability in case of earthquake.

Historically, Tudikhel covered area, from Rani Pokhari in the north to the Dasarath Stadium in the south. The political significance of Tudhikhel started declining after the Rana regime in 1951. With the help of the US government in 1961 Tudhikhel was divided into three separate parts. The fencing work done by the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC).
The survey shows that people of around 26 – 30 years old are the major group of Tudikhel visitors where as people around 66 – 70 are the one with less visits. People visits inside Tudikhel for performing various kind of activities  such as jogging, physical and mental exercise, pet walks, etc. likewise, Tudikhel is also used mainly for performing and practicing different outdoor games activities such as badminton, football, volleyball, cricket,etc. The place is also used as program venue. The observation data by the surveyor of CIUD showed that in a day around 800 people visits inside Tudikhel in non holiday's day among which nearly 300 of them visits in the morning time from 6am - 11am mostly for jogging and exercise purpose.
Tudhikhel is not only the breathing spaces of the city but is the place for interplay between people, activities, movement and urban forms. Tudikhel plays a vital important role in different aspects of the society which includes games, health and environment activities, socio-cultural and political activities. Besides these aspects, one major is the earthquake issue, which cannot be avoided as a part of Kathmandu valley future in the coming days. Diminishing open spaces in the Valley due to haphazard urbanization and failure to work on earthquake preparedness poses a serious threat to the lives of people here. According to our survey at Tudhikhel, 73% peoople know that Kathmandu is in the vulnerable condition in aspect of earthquake disaster where as the rest 23% are not aware about this serious problem. Among them 99% agree that in case of such a disastrous situation Tudhikhel can play a vital role in providing shelters to the citizens inside the valley.
The international standard for open space for temporary settlement is 45 sq. m. In regard to this data, the present Tudhikhel covers 127142.66 sq.m among which 61164.42 sq. m. is covered by public for various activities. It is suggested that in case of an earthquake 2825.392 numbers of people can be rehabitated at Tudhikhel.
At present, Kathmandu is praiseworthy for their initiative against the illegal parking but, they are too reluctant to look at the real problems. It is evident that such illegal parking lots in many cases are a trouble for the smooth running of traffic and is the root cause for the traffic jam in the street.

According to the survey, it was found that 70% people are still hopeful towards Tudhikhel and its authorities that in future it will be well managed with greenery and will remain open space for public as now where as 30% people think that it will be encroached and will be used for business and political purpose, not only that they think condition of Tudhikhel will be worst later than it is now.

There are many reasons why it is so important to protect open spaces in urban areas. Some environmental reasons behind this can be is,  to recharge groundwater, preserve microclimate, and minimize the air pollution. From a social perspective, areas like Tundikhel are responsible for reducing urban stress, creating opportunities for sports and recreation, improving the landscape of the city, and helping to promote tourism. A public place with a positive image actually helps to impart the civic sense, wisdom and responsibility in an individual. So it is very important to preserve and protect such open spaces like Tudikhel by designing different guidelines for regeneration and maintenance, design and management of public open spaces.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Fourth Day at Neetishala

As the days of workshop are running off it is being quite interesting, exciting , enthusiastic and so on then the previous days of the workshop. We are getting opportunity to sharpen our knowledge day by day not only by national resource person but by international personal too.
Today on 26th of July 2011 , our debriefing session goes very nicely as well with the comment of the organizer for the promotion of the campaign. Prof. Andrew Pettit Morriss took the session of Externalities, Coase and the problem of Social Cost  and the Environment perservation: Government or Markets? with very interesting story of woodpecker and the Hawk as well as with interesting games by which we became more clear to our session beside that the Group work was so interesting and I was on "Water" group. Today we won the gift for the best presentation on Prof. Moriss session about the policy.
The another session was of Mr.Ratish Basnyat from FNCCI on "Globalization and Trade Liberalization Policy in Context of Nepal". Similarly today we got time for the given workouts as well as we have a memorable photo session .
In my point of view, now the participants are getting more comfortable with each other in sessions and feeling proud to be a part of Neetishala Workshop.

“Khullamanch at the Glance”

Employment is back on the international development agenda. The question of more and better jobs for the poor in developing countries was intensively debated. Informal sector is most often the only asset of the Kathmandu’s   poor and a growth process that does not create more and better jobs might fail to reduce poverty for a large share of people, so that in developing countries, some of the potential working population earns their living in the informal sector.
There are many types of work in the informal sector; among them one is street vending. Majority of the vendors' income is not able to handle overall family expenditure. They would define this economy or sector in other words: not in what it is not, but what it is: the only way to earn a living for people who are self-employed outside the formal economy and not on anyone's payroll. Most of them don't live and work in this sector because it is their wish or choice, but because they have no chance to be hired by an employer from the formal sector. Streets are more vulnerable place in terms of traffic and environment. It lacks basic service like protection from rain, sun, dust, services like water, toilet. It is prone to noise, air and land pollution.
Although there are a lot of street vendors all over Nepal, we can take street vendors of Khullamanch as an example. From one report of Centre for Integrated Urban Development (CIUD) in collaboration of Action Aid Nepal (AAIN) 2010 it shows that there are more than 700 stalls around Khullamanch and they are not new for the city because they have evicted from the different cities before three years. As the eviction is the major problem of street vendors now they knew one can do nothing to get their rights. So, now they know the importance of being organized. Through the report of CIUD shows that 50% of the vendors are involved in some right based organization of vendors. Mostly it is reported that the vendors of Khullamanch are involved in Sorojgar Bapyar Samaj, Shramik Sangathan, GFONT, Trade Union, Mahila Samaj and Maoist Union.
The informal sector plays an important and controversial role in our society. Among this informal job in present context, in Kathmandu the street vending job is more popular in migrant people. It provides jobs and reduces unemployment and underemployment, but in many cases the jobs are low-paid and the job security is poor. At the present context of Kathmandu there is large magnitude of workforce getting their livelihood from the informal sector.  But because of unmanaged street problem the beauty of the city is declining day by day while street vendors are using the places without taxes and rent, which itself counts as controversial.  Broadly, the informal sector provides income-earning opportunities for a larger number of workers as well it can be said that it is contributing towards the nation and society as well.
On the top of that the contribution of street vendors in urban economy is positive so that in this situation, comparing to other places of Kathmandu, Khullamanch appears a more favorable place that probably related to its characteristics and the role of NGO related to street vendors to provide advocacy to the vendors and the Government has to play a role of facilitator and promoter so that the workers employed in the informal sector are able to get requisite level of protection and security to have decent work environment enabling them to utilize their skills fully and according to their capabilities necessary for enhancing the competitiveness of their outputs and thereby raising their income and socio-economic status.
On third day of Neetishala (25th of July 26, 2011) all the participants were looking fresh with new enthusiasm to involve in the workshop.
After the debriefing session , Prof. Andrew Pettit Morriss from University of Alabama USA took the sessions on Policies for economic development, Public Choice: The Economics of Government  and Monetary Policy: Central Bank Vs Private Bank. Beside that Mr. Prem Khanal, Associate Editior of Republica National Daily took the session on Mass Media  and policy Advocacy.
As all the sessions were very important, all participants took very lively and active participation in all the sessions. Regarding the session some participants were even in discussion session at the lunch time too . I think this shows the youth want to do really something for the economic growth.
Similarly , the group of mine (The Vision Group ) is promoting its campaign on the topic “Oil Nigam Kahile Samma Petrol Sankaat”. To promote this campaign our “The Vision Group” organized signature campaign as well as on the statue campaign to promote the campaign.
At the end of the day the sessions ends with the presentation programme  of the article on “Swedish Myth”, on this programme  group 102 won the prize for their wonderful presentation.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Neetishala Workshop

We started the Neetishala workshop on  23rd of JULY 2011 Saturday. These two days have been  very informative and challenging.

We have had great speakers like Dr. Bhola Chalise, Mr. Sagar Parsai, Prof. Mahesh Baskota and others.

We have participated in many activities like discussion and blogging.

Also looking forward to a great fun day tomorrow too!

"The Urban Predicament at Manohara River Bank"

Centre For Integrated Urban Development (CIUD) has organized talk programme in the topic of "The Urban Predicament at Manohara River Bank"  at Urban Dabali conducted by Compassion for Migrant Children (CMC) with the joint effort of Samudayik Sarathi.  Jonathan Hursh , Executive director and founder of CMC introduced the motto of CMC and vision of community shipping centre. According to him community center is envisioned as the platform as the need of community in holistic way which will try to build community relationship for the social change.
 Tara Bhandari, Chairman of Samudayik Sarathi presented his presentation on the findings of base line survey of Manohara Slum settlements. The survey was done on 416 households of the area. There were  69% indigenous, 23% others, 6% dalits and 2% minority group people settling down. People from 49 districts were migrated in this slum area majority from Khotang district. The majority people quoted the cause of their migration from their native places are unemployment. It has been found that majority of people are engaged in labour.
Participants from different organizations directly or indirectly working in the sect of urban areas, informal sector, woman rights and child rights, participant from the Manohara Slum area took part actively in floor discussion session.  Dilu Basyal, participant from slum, said that water and sanitation are  emerging problem of the area . She blamed the government that it is not being sensitive enough about the slum areas.   Prakash Chandra Amatya , Executive Director of CIUD, commented that slum and squatter areas are emerging threat of the world and Government as well as Non-Government Organizations should work hand in hand to solve the problems