Nepal Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) shows that 95% of the population has access to improved water-supply which includes piped water, public taps, standpipes, boreholes to improved spring sources and rainwater. However, functionality, accessibility, quality, and efficiency of the water systems are not as per government standard. DHS further reveals that out of them only 25% are functioning properly, 36% need minor repairs and 39% require either replacement or major repair. And only 65% of the people have access to improved sanitation facilities.
Water and sanitation are among the key sectors of development. See Goal 6 “Clean Water and Sanitation” in the United Nationals Sustainable Development Goals. Access to clean water and better sanitation have a positive impact in different aspects of life including education, health, nutrition and economic growth helping people come out of poverty.
Nepal, known as one of the richest countries in terms of water resources, has abundant potable water sources, which include springs, mountains, rivers, and groundwater. Traditionally, people fulfill their water need by collecting it from these sources. The skill of keeping water sources clean and managing equitable distribution is still a part of their inherent culture in rural communities.
The rapid growth of towns and cities has placed a huge challenge for government and development agencies in building cost-effective and lasting water systems. Major challenges are related to the quality and quantity of the supply.
CHOICE Nepal, has the knowledge and experience of building water supply projects and has been doing so for almost two decades. They are also successful in helping the local populations contribute to, own, manage and operate the projects sustainably.
CHOICE's sustainable water project management system consists of three major components:
- Sustainable Structure: In close participation and collaboration with local users, CHOICE implements projects applying cost-effective measures with sound construction technology.
- Trained and organized community: Community leaders and users come together for project implementation. CHOICE equips the locals with the skill and knowledge needed for the sustainable operation of the project.
- Sustainable management system: CHOICE promotes an inclusive, participatory and member-based management structure and hands over the project to the user after its completion.
CHOICE has built nearly 29 water supply systems so far extending potable water to 374,000 people in disadvantaged areas of the country. Post-project evaluation surveys that CHOICE conducted to find the success rates of the projects have shown that above 91% of the projects are operating successfully.