Improved sanitation through Public Private Partnership
July 2008; Passengers using the Hetauda bus park in recent times have greatly benefited from the availability of a clean and well-maintained public restroom facility. The public toilets have been renovated by a local organisation, Adarsha Tole Bikash Samstha (ATBS) formed under the Public Private Partnership for Urban Environment Programme, funded by UNDP and implemented by the Ministry of Local Development.
Due to poor management by the original contractor, the condition of the Hetauda bus park public toilets built 15 years ago by the Municipality had deteriorated, with litter and rubbish piled up in and around the toilet, creating health hazards as well as an unpleasant sight and smell. When the contract of the local operator expired, the Municipality took over the task of managing the toilets in the year 2002 and enlisted the ATBS to come up with a better way to run the facility under a Public-Private Partnership arrangement.
Within a span of two years, people could see visible changes in the surrounding environment. The ATBS added extra facilities such as showers for the use of long-haul transit passengers and instituted an effective fee collection mechanism. A solar powered lighting system was installed to light the toilets resulting in reduced energy costs. A garden around the toilets was also developed. Due to this improvement of the restroom facilities, the Hetauda bus park toilets began to attract a higher volume of paying customers, resulting in higher revenue. The average daily revenue increased from 350 to 1400 rupees per day.
Januka Rokka, 33, a toilet cleaner, sees a vast difference in the operation and maintenance of the restrooms. Rokka, who has worked as a toilet cleaner for the past five years describes how the toilets used to be 'filthy, stinky, badly lit, a haven for drug abusers, and lacked doors and pans.' She further added, 'Now my working condition has improved greatly and with the additional revenue generated and the increase in my pay, I can send my children to school and also save some money for myself. I am happy that the new lighting system has enabled the passengers, especially women to comfortably and safely use the facilities both during the daytime and at night.'