Thursday Jul 7, 2022
Thursday Jul 7, 2022

The state of water supply in Nepal

What are the better initiatives to improve water supply in rural parts of the country?


Nepalnews
2022 Jun 22, 7:03, Kathmandu

This month, Nepal has received an $80 million grant from the World Bank in order to improve the water supply system in the country. The water supply projects will be implemented in Karnali and Sudurpaschim provinces of Nepal, which have lower access to water supply and higher incidence of poverty in comparison to other parts of the country.

“Many in remote areas have to rely on small brooks running from the mountains and spend hours travelling to get water. Still the drinking water available is not always safe as supplied water is often polluted. Excluded communities in Nepal have limited access to water supply,” says Niranjan Shrestha the chief environmental officer and founder of Environmental Services Nepal Pvt. Ltd. Environmental Services Nepal, provides sustainable and environment friendly solutions through conducting research and capacity building projects for developmental works in Nepal.


People living in rural areas of Nepal, face extreme hardship to fetch water from far away sources which take up to hours every day. According to the government of Nepal, the national water supply and sanitation policy, the economic cost of ill health, medical treatment, loss of time, and opportunities caused by lack of access to basic needs like water account for an estimated loss of $34billion in the Indian subcontinent.

As per the recent joint monitoring conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF in the year 2020, only 18 percent of the Nepalese population have access to safely managed drinking water supply all year around. Recent data from the Department of Water Supply and Sewerage Management (DWSSM) 2019, also confirms this situation; merely 51.69% of the population have piped water coverage and the remaining 48.31% are relying on un-piped locally and privately managed systems like private tube wells.

On the matter, the general manager of the Nepal Water Supply Corporation (NWSC), Dr Bhupendra Prasad has indicated the institution's weak financial condition which is causing hurdles in the daily operation and maintenance of electromechanical equipment including the distribution of water. The problems he highlighted were electrical power cut-off, increased fuel prices, an increase in the market price for the construction materials, and the unplanned urbanization of the country. However, with the recent grant received by Nepal for improving its water resource management, it is expected that many of these financial problems will be minimized.

Karnali and Sudarpaschim have been one of the most neglected regions of Nepal, with the least number of developmental works being executed in these regions. With this new project being implemented in these areas, there is a hope that the persisting inequality in the water supply system of the country will eventually diminish.


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Water Supply Karnali Develoopment Rural area of Nepal NepalNews drinking water water problems
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