Freshwater Action Network
– grassroots influencing on water and sanitation

Lajana at the MDG +10 Civil Society Consultation

CSO hearings at the UN in Washington

Lajana Manandhar, FANSA steering committee member and Country Convenor of FAN Nepal (pictured right and below), gave a powerful speech to a room full of government representatives about the importance of sanitation and water in development at the civil society consultation on the Millennium Development Goals taking place this week.

Kate Norgrove, WaterAid's Head of Campaigns also attending, said, "You could have heard a pin drop when she asked the room how many people they thought had, that morning, defecated in the open air (1.1 billion)."

Lajana holding a plackard that reads

In her speech, Lajana spoke of the wider impacts of water and sanitation on other areas including education and health and made some key recommendations, calling on the committee to:


  • Promote water spirituality; recognize its centrality to life, dignity, peace and development
  • Bring a revolution in the water and sanitation sector; end the neglect and make it a key priority of national development
  • Support national plans to achieve sanitation and water for all, and make sure resources get to the poor and marginalize
  • Ensure developing countries meet their commitments
  • Ensure donor countries at least double aid to the sector
  • Integrate water and sanitation policy with other sectors, including slum rehabilitation and strategies to improve health, education and nutrition.
    End the neglect of water and sanitation facilities in slums
  • Enhance the integration of policy and programming with health, education and nutrition strategies
  • Bring grassroots women to the forefront, to reduce vulnerabilities and to make communities healthy and sustainable. 

Watch her speech on the UN website here (RealPlayer required).

Download her full speech

Find out more about the civil society consultation