World Habitat Day has been observing globally on every first Monday of October since 1986. UN-Habitat selected “Changing Cities, Building Opportunities” the theme for this year.
Marking World Habitat Day 2012, UN-Habitat, Nepal jointly with Government of Nepal (GoN) and various other stakeholders conducted various activities in Nepal.
DRAWING COMPETITION IN SCHOOL LEVEL
Marking 12th World Habitat Day 2012, October 1, UN-Habitat, Nepal in collaboration with Rotaract Club of Yala has organized “Children’s Drawing Contest” among children of class 4, 5 and 6 on the theme “Changing Cities, Building Opportunities” set by UN-Habitat Regional Office for Asia Pacific on the topic, “THIS IS HOW I CHANGE MY CITY TO MAKE IT BETTER”. 275 students participated from 21 schools of Kathmandu Valley.
The participating drawings were exhibited at Adarsha Kanya Niketan Higher Secondary School, Lalitpur on September 8, 2012 on the occasion of World Literacy Day, which was inaugurated by Mr. Padma Sunder Joshi, Habitat Program Manager, UN-Habitat, Nepal. Three prominent artists evaluated the drawings for award. People’s Choice and an award for a disable student were selected.
WORKSHOP ON “PRIVATE SECTOR ENGAGEMENT IN URBAN REGENERATION PILOT PROGRAM”
Marking World Habitat Day 2012, DUDBC-GoN, UN-Habitat, USAID, FNCCI and NSET jointly organized a workshop on, “Private Sector Engagement in Pilot Urban Regeneration Program in Kathmandu City Core” on September 16, 2012 at DUDBC Seminar Hall, Kathmandu.
This programme highlighted the importance of revitalizing the dilapidated and fragmented traditional settlements of Kathmandu. Mr. Surya Bhakta Sangachhen, NSET highlighted the need and approach to address such demands. The initiative highlighted how private sector and public sector can join hands in regeneration programmes in the old settlements of Kathmandu.
Mr. Kishore Thapa, Secretary of Ministry of Urban Development praised the initiative and expressed the interest of the government to join hands with private sector in such ventures that demands huge investment but possibilities of mutual benefits. Speakers also suggested to not to override the cultural setting of the area while regenerating the settlement. The programme was attended by high ranking government officials, private sector leaders, academia and international agencies including UN-Habitat.
MEDIA WORKSHOP CUM TRAINING
On the occasion of World Habitat Day 2012, UN-Habitat in collaboration with Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) and Government of Nepal (GoN) has organized half day workshop cum training on the theme of the WHD-12, i.e. “Changing Cities, Building Opportunities” for media personals from various media. The main objective of the programme was to aware the media reporters on the inner issues of cities particularly the low income urban dwellers- their living condition and their contribution to city economy.
The closed room orientation was conducted at Environment Section Hall of Kathmandu Metropolitan City Office. Mr. Chandra Mani Bhattarai from KMC and Mr. Phurba Sange Moktan from UN-Habitat coordinated the event. Similarly, Mr. Padma Sundar Joshi, Habitat Program Manager from UN-Habitat facilitated the overall city walk explaining the urban issues in Kathmandu. Partner agencies – CIUD, SOUP, Homenet supported to bring the communities together with the journalists to expose the situation of informal sector, particularly poor renters and grass root women organizations in Kathmandu.
Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC), GoN hosted an exhibition to mark World Habitat Day-2012 in association with UN-Habitat. Various agencies- mainly governmental and none governmental agencies participated in the exhibition that lasted for September 30 and October 1, 2012 in the premises of DUDBC at Babarmahal.
UN-Habitat prepared and presented the stall on the theme of WHD-12, “Changing Cities, Building Opportunities” where drawing regarding the theme, flexes related to Urban issues and green growth and urban issues taken from the cameras’ of media journalists were exhibited. The two days’ exhibition was formally inaugurated by Mr. Kishore Thapa, Secretary from MoUD.
SAFETY BOOTH CAMPAIGN
A week long Safety Booth Campaign was jointly initiated by HomeNet Nepal, Nepal Mahila Ekata Samaj, Rastriya Mahila Adhikar Manch, Activista, ActionAid, Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Nepal Police, DUDBC and UN-Habitat from September 26 to October 2, 2012 with objectives to sensitize and build common understanding among all the city dwellers, planners, concerned stakeholders and government on safety of women in public places.
Campaigning in one of the busiest streets in Kathmandu different awareness raising materials were distributed, messages delivered to the public with the support of Trafic Police. More than 1000 people signed in the solidarity book. Some cases on gender violence in street and experiences, suggestions and feedback were collected from the booth. First of its kind, the programme helped to raise awareness against the harassments and safety issues of women in public places.
PRESS MEET AND MEDIA ACTIVITIES
In order to inform objectives and events of World Habitat Day-2012 to media journalists from Nepal, press meet was organized by DUDBC-GoN and UN-Habitat on September 28, 2012 at DUDBC Seminar Hall, Kathmandu.
Mr. Suresh Acharya, Joint Secretary, MoUD, Mr. Shambhu KC, Deputy Director General of DUDBC and Mr. Padma Sunder Joshi, Habitat Programme Manager, UN-Habitat for Nepal shared the themes, information, planning and events regarding World Habitat Day-2012 and also solved the queries of the journalists. The program was concluded with the release of Press release to journalists.
Nepal Television, Sagarmatha Television, and News 24 TV hosted talk shows and reporting of the events for a week. Similarly several print media and FM Radio reported on the events and highlighted the activities.
CONFERENCE ON “CHANGING CITIES, BUILDING OPPORTUNITIES”
Marking World Habitat Day-2012, the conference on “Changing Cities, Building Opportunities” was organized with the joint effort from Ministry of Urban Development, Government of Nepal and UN-Habitat along with partners from civil society, academia and private sector. Nineteen agencies were participating as the host to the programme while the workshop was attended by more than 150 selected participants.
With the objectives to bring the experts together and share knowledge and ideas the main event was designed for presentations and deliberations within the umbrella of this year’s theme. “Changing Cities, Building Opportunities”. The full day conference was formally inaugurated by the chief guest, Mr. Deependra Bahadur Kshetri, Vice-Chairman, National Planning Commission of GoN with lightening the Panas. During the inaugural session, the messages of UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon and Under Secretary General and Executive Director of UN-Habitat Dr. Joan Clos were read. Mr. Madhab Bhakta Mathema, Senior Urban Development Expert and ex UN-Habitat official delivered keynote speech. Publication from UN-Habitat entitled, “Sanitation Compendium”, DUDBC urban development bulletin “Shahari Bikash” and publication of RUPSAN “Urban Ethos” were launched in the programme. The winners of the drawing competition were also given away certificates. One of the highlights of the programme was to award the Best Municipality Award that started from this year. Bhimeswor Municipality from Dolkha won this award for 2012.
The Technical Session of the day was divided into two parts. The first part under the theme Green Growth was chaired by Dr. Mahendra Subba, Director General of DUDBC. Speakers to this session were Dr. Pushkar Bajracharya, Senior Economist and ex-NPC Member on Urban development and green economy; Mr. Padma Sunder Joshi, HPM Nepal on Green building: towards new paradigm in built environment; and Mr. Kamal Pande, Professor Transport Planning on Sustainable Transport for Kathmandu Valley.
The second session on Urban Services was chaired by Mr. Reshmiraj Pandey, Joint Secretary of Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development. The experts speaking to the session were Dr. Bijay Krishna Shrestha of Town Development Fund on Delivering Urban Services, Mr. Om Thapaliya of Homenet Nepal on Informal economy and issues of home-based workers and Dr. Sumitra Amatya, Executive Director of Solide Waste Management Technical Support Centre of sustainable waste management. Mr. Shambhu K C, DDG, DUDBC closed the programme with vote of thanks and concluding remarks.