SACOSAN IV, some thoughts

Text to be written! draft Dhaka Declaration can be downloaded here 


Nepali delegates SACOSANVIExibition Pavillion Nepal SACOSANVINepal Tech Focus Session SACOSANVI

Annual Sector Stakeholder Group Meeting 2015

The theme for 2015 SSG proposed "unlocking sector potential to secure WASH services for All". Over 100 participants attended the meeting, representing the diversity of the WASH sector, bringing together Government agencies, Development Partners and NGOs. 

SSG 15  no1The main topic for the day was the discussion on the Sector Development Plan. Mr Arjun Kumar Karki, Secretary, MOUD as chief guest, gave his views on SDP and its content, indicating that financing and sustainability issues needed to be resolved. Further sector harmonization and coordination is needed. In particular in the towns where urbanization is becoming more complex with so many stakeholders. Also, strengthened monitoring and sector analysis is needed to generate a better match between planning data used and the actual situation in the field. He challenged the meeting to look for ways to broaden the feeling of ownership on the SDP.  

The SDP aligns with the Government vision for the WASH Sector: Improved public health and living standard of people through safe, sufficient, accessible, acceptable, and affordable water and sanitation services for all citizens. The SDP is a fifteen year plan (2016-2030) that articulates sector priorities, strategies and actions for effective implementation of WASH in a coherent and harmonized manner with leadership of government. 

SSG banner

The SDP is being drafted and there is still time to provide comments and observations (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). During the SSG, the existing eight Thematic Working Groups were asked to discuss all relevant TWG issues in group and provide it to the secretariat. A new TWG on Urban WASH was also endorsed by the meeting.

The remaining sessions of the day were devoted to progress reports from all the segments of the WASH sector. The full report on the meeting will be available after Dashain.

Photos courtesy of Prayash Ghimire, SEIU

Climate Change and WASH: Pokhara September 2015

The Ministry of Urban Development held a National Conference on Climate Change and WASH in Pokhara on September 3 and 4, 2015. Over one hundred participants debated how communities could raise climate resiliency for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene. The Honorable Minister inaugurated the Conference. The meeting was organized as an activity of the project on ‘Building adaptation to climate change in health in LDC’s through resilient WASH (2013-2017)’ supported by WHO and DfID.

lapa dang
Nepal has managed to raise coverage of water supply to around 85% in recent years. Many people in Nepal have been receiving reasonable services since a good number of years. However, communities, cities and towns have been struggling to maintain the service and raise the functionality and quality of service delivery of water supply schemes. Climate change effects and human interventions are impacting on water availability. Several studies are showing declining yields of local sources. Deforestation, changes in land use, erratic precipitation, encroachment of infiltration zones and lack of attention for traditional water resource management practices are some of the causes of the decline. Migration and changes in demography have caused a lack of labour, reducing hill agriculture and care of small water resources. Demographic shifts have moved the burden of supplying water to the trading centres, the emerging cities along the road. But where can these towns get there water sustainably and reliably?
The hills and mountains of Nepal are the water tower for many communities downstream. Slowing down water in the landscape, by maintaining ponds, pits and trenches will recharge the aquifers and provide longer lasting water for agriculture and for human consumption. An ecosystem based local adaptation approach will be needed to ensure and restore source yields.

recharge syangjaThe meeting presented interesting data on decline of water sources in Tanhu district and gave practical examples of local aquifer replenishment actions (e.g. Dhara Vikas/Sikkim, Rural Village Water Resources Management Programme (RVWRMP-Western Nepal) and the Public Health Engineering Department/ MoH/Bhutan). As part of any Local Adaptation Plan of Action (LAPA), local action and control will need to be strengthened, with a focus on springshed zoning and protection, and an inventory of sources and their use throughout the year (water use management plan – WUMP) needs to be implemented. Good practice in 3R: recharge, retain and re-use together with regular measurement and documentation of local source yields is a must.
Water-saving practices need to be encouraged.

This should include further promotion of ecological sanitation solutions and the design of dry toilets. Consumer behavior will need to be influenced to demonstrate that WASH with less water is just as clean and safe.
Policies need to be developed that manage fair compensation for ecosystem services when provided to sustain town water supplies.

The Conference concluded with a Pokhara Declaration that the WASH Sector can use as guidance for testing and including climate change resilience measures in design and management of water supply and sanitation systems. The declaration can be downloaded here:  Declaration on WASH and CC, September 2015

Launch of the 2070 - 2071 Water Supply Provider Databook

Launch Data Book large

The 2070-2071 (2013 - 2014) Water Supply Provider Data Book was launched on June 26, 2015, by Ram Chandra Devkota, Joint Secretary in charge of the Water Supply and Sanitation Sector programme at the Ministry of Urban Development. This year's Data Book is the second in the series and is a result of the efforts of the SEIU to promote benchmarking and performance improvement among town and emerging town water supply systems.  

Through the databook SEIU is connected with 105 water supply providers, of which 63 have been included in the current data book. As the government has a policy to substantially increase the number of towns and larger settlements with centralized water supply, there will be plenty of work ahead.

During 2015-2016 SEIU hopes to further create capacity with Sector partners and in the context of the Third Small Town Water Supply Project for Meena handing over Databook
performance improvement aimed at raised functionality and service delivery. Meena Shrestha, DDG for Drought Affected Districts at the Department of Water Supply and Sewerage (DWSS), was present to receive a copy of the new publication on behalf of Ram Deep Sah, Director General of DWSS.

A copy of the document can be downloaded at SEIU Downloads at Publications 

2015 WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Report (JMP) MDG report launched

cover JMP15The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP) launched its latest report on June 30, 2015. In addition to providing data on the progress towards the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets for WASH, it features a number of interesting infographics on the quality of the achievement, e.g. in relation to wealth quintiles or those with house connections. Useful for reflection on our future focus.

The document can be downloaded  at .  However at 16 MB it may be taking a little time. It is certainly worth a try as it has a lot  of interesting information. 

For Nepal, SEIU just looked at the sanitation component. The report  shows that Nepal has been doing quite well in reducing open  defecation, leading the  regional achievement (by necessity, as it started very low !). Four of the regional countries have increased  sanitation coverage by more than 30%. It could well be that the  SACOSAN movement has played a positive role.  

ODF reduction nepal since 1990Still, there is more  work to do, as there remain gaps in wealth  quintiles and the  adoption of sanitary practices by the poor. Here  Nepal can improve  a good bit. We have started doing so, as the  terai sanitation  promotion programme initiated in 2014 will help to  reduce the gap  by generating more access to sanitation by the  ordinary and poor  households of the terai districts that have been  lagging behind in  achieving sanitation coverage. 

Have a look at the document if you can, it is a worthwhile read !

Sanitation improvement by quintile

PDNA Post Quake Needs Assessment

Executive Summary 

The damages and change in economic flows for the water supply, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) have been calculated based on rapid assessments undertaken by district Divisional- and sub-Divisional Water Supply and Sanitation Offices in the 14 ‘severely’ affected districts where emergency was declared by the government. DWSS also made estimates for an additional 17 districts that were classified by the government as ‘moderately’ affected by the earthquake. Consultations were held with representatives of relevant line agencies and development partners to better understand the effects of the disaster on the functioning of the water and sanitation sector and to solicit suggestions for formulating a recovery strategy. The total needs for recovery and reconstruction using the principle of building back better is estimated at NPR 18.1 billion, of which 25% is needed for FY 2015-16, 40% for FY 2016-17 and 35% for FY 2017-18. The complete two pager can be downloaded here (PDNA WASH Summary June 12)

WASH and the Nepal Earthquake

The earthquake of April 25 has caused widespread death and destruction. Many people lost their homes and are staying in the open with limited shelter. In response the WASH Cluster was set up with DWSS for Government and UNICEF for the external agencies as the coordination hub for all humanitarian action related to the WASH Sector. Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For the time being the WASH Cluster will act as the first port of call for all agencies who would like to assist in the WASH recovery in the affected districts or who would like to get up to date information. 


Engaging Media on WASH

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Realizing and understanding the role of Media in the sector, Sector Efficiency Improvement Unit (SEIU), Ministry of Urban Development in collaboration with Federation of Water Users Committee Nepal (FEDWASUN) and WATERAiD Nepal jointly organized a half day interaction with Journalists about the role of Media. 

हाँस्य कलाकार जोडी धुर्मुस र सुन्तली सरसफाई दुत

Dhurmus Suntali 5चर्चित हाँस्य कलाकार जोडी कुन्जना घिमिरे (सुन्तली) र सिताराम कट्टेल (धुर्मश)लाई नेपाल सरकार शहरी विकास मन्त्रालयले सरसफाई दुत बनाउने घोषणा गरेको

प्रत्येक हप्ता नेपाल टेलिभिजनमा मेरी बास्यै नामक हाँस्य श्रृंखला पस्कदैं आएको यो जोडीले अब हाँस्य कार्यक्रम तथा प्रस्तृतीमा सरसफाईबारे सामाजिक चेतना फैलाउन तथा आम मानिसको व्यवहार परिर्वतनहुने खालका सन्देश प्रवाहित गर्नेछन्

सुचना तथा संचार मन्त्री मिनेन्द्र रिजालले कलाकार दम्पत्तीलाई एक घर एक शौचालय अभियानबारे जनचेतना फैलाउन तथा अबको दुई वर्ष नेपाललाई खुला दिशा मुक्त क्षेत्र बनाउनको लागी सरसफाई दुतको रुपमा नियुक्त गरेको बताउनुभयो

सहरी विकास मन्त्रालयका सह प्रवक्ता तथा सिनिएर डिभिजनल इन्जिनियर कविन्द्र विक्रम कार्कीले चर्चित कलाकारले खानेपानी तथा सरसफाईको बारेमा चेतना फैलाउँदा अझ प्रभावकारी हुने भएकोले कलाकारद्धयलाई सद्भावना दुत बनाईएको बताउनुभयो सह प्रवक्ता कार्कीका अनुसार एक घर एक शोचालय अभियानसंगै स्वच्छ पिउने पानीको विषयहरुमा पनि जन चेतना जगाउनेछन्, उनिहरुले खाना खानु अघि हात धुने, पानी पिउनु ध्यान दिने लगाएतका विषयहरु समेट्नेछन्  

सरसफाई दुत घोषणा भएपछि सरसफाईका बारेमा विभिन्न जिल्लामा आयोजना गरीएका महोत्सवमा गएपछी जनचेतना मुलक कार्यक्रममा समेत सहभागी भईरहेका छन्  

दूत नियुक्त भएसंगै उनीहरुले देश दौडाहा गर्दै सरकारको सरसफाई अभियानमा साथ दिने छन् सरकारले आउँदो बर्ष भित्र नेपाललाई सरसफाई युक्त देश घोषणा गर्ने लक्ष्य लिएको जसअनुरुप धुर्मुस सुन्तलीलाई सरसफाई दूतकारुपमा सरकारले छनौट गरेको हो । 

ICIMOD launches new project on reviving drying springs

Dhara Vikas coverOn February 18, 2015, ICIMOD, the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development, launched a two-year research project on reviving springs and providing access to solar powered irrigation pumps (SPIP) through community based water use planning. Helvetas Swiss Inter-cooperation (Nepal) and ACWADAM (India) are partners in this project.

In Nepal it will be implemented in Sindupalchowk and Dailekh, while in India the activities will focus on the Nainital district of Uttarakhand. 

Availability of water for human consumption and for agriculture is critical to a decent existence and livelihood in the hills.

To stem the decline in spring yields, the project will investigate options for recharge and retention of rainwater in the landscape through protection of natural infiltration zones and development of additional recharge opportunities.

The Water Use Management Plan (WUMP) [] approach is used to make an inventory of sources and together agree on their use. 

Bringing Water to a Rolling Boil

spotlight-Sanitation-april-2-2013In many parts of Nepal, while there is no other mechanism to ensure that drinking water is safe, boiling water before drinking is the most effective solution for water purification.

The WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality (WHO,  2011) advised that it is sufficient to inactivate pathogenic  bacteria, viruses and protozoa by bringing water to a rolling boil. Previous editions of WHO guidelines were not so clear about this.  So WASH agencies used to advise people to boil longer, for 5 minutes or so. 

Please update your agency’s guidance and let boiling be just a roll! 

This new WHO guidance note explains that a rolling boil is sufficient to inactivate pathogenic  bacteria, viruses and protozoa.  

Result and Performance Improvement Planning (PIP) workshop for water service providers

20141208 095422As a part of ongoing efforts in benchmarking and performance management exercise for water service providers (WSPs), Sector Efficiency Improvement Unit (SEIU) organized a two days long workshop on Benchmarking Result and Performance Improvement Planning (PIP) for water service providers.

In the last few months SEIU has been busy in collecting the data questionnaires and validate the information in close consultation with WSPs. SEIU is at final stage to publish the result based on this benchmarking exercise. 

Sharing experiences and working together to make WASH sector more gender and socially inclusive

edited 2 DSC01438-640x480A Follow up and learning sharing meeting of Technical Working Group (TWG) on Gender and Social Inclusion (GESI)  of WASH sector was organised  on 17th December 2014 at DECC  hall, Tripureswor, Kathmandu. The GESI TWG is one of the eight technical working groups formed by the second Joint Sector Review (JSR)  to improve sector planning process and implementation in a coordinated manner by bringing together a broad spectrum of WASH stakeholders comprising of the governmental officials, development partners,  civil society actors and private sector. 

(This article was originally published on RWSSPWN's website)

New Umbrella Act, Policy and Sector Development Plan

DSCF2823Through a consultative process SEIU has drafted an umbrella act and policy for the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)   sector. The draft policy and act will apply to all government sector agencies, local bodies, government enterprises, non-  government organizations, service providers, community based organizations, and private sector.  The new policy is update and   harmonization of the existing urban and rural policies, which has also been able to bring consistencies in the two policies. The   umbrella act fulfils the need of a comprehensive law for the effective,  efficient and harmonized water supply, waste water and   sanitation service delivery in accordance the stated Government policies.

Download the latest updated draft (June 2015) of WSSS policy (English/Nepali)  Download draft bill (English/Nepali)

The formulation of SDP stems from the need to improve sector capacity, responsiveness and accountability through the development of a comprehensive national WASH framework to guide and align WASH sector stakeholders for improved performance in the sector.(download the draft SDP). Provide your inputs.

Moving towards a Sector-wide Approach for WASH

On January 03, 2013, the Government of Nepal approved the terms of reference for a National WASH Program. The terms of reference were prepared as a consequence of a sector consultation under the aegis of the Sector Steering Group, held in September 2012.

It gives expression to the interest of GoN, its partners in development in the WASH sector and many representative agencies and local and international NGOs, to formulate a comprehensive programme for a final push to achieve universal coverage in water supply, and sanitation as early as possible, and preferably by 2017.

Vision:  Adequate and convenient sanitation and water services to all citizens, for health, dignity and  socio-economic progress. [to be  achieved by 2017.]

Strategic elements:

  • GoN to ensure through enabling policy environment, technical assistance, financing arrangements, capacity building and a regulatory  framework that citizens of Nepal have access to and use of proper sanitation facilities and safe water for consumption, adequate for hygiene and general cleanliness. Thus,
  • Adequate and functional services should be available to households and institutions such as hospitals, clinics and schools;
  • Where required, appropriate public facilities in sanitation and water should be available in markets and other public places frequented by a larger mass of people;
  • Adequate arrangements should be in place for the disabled, elderly and vulnerable.
  • Ensure equitable use and distribution of water resources for water supply, and maintain a tariff structure that enforces Pay-As-You-Use (PAYU) above reasonable basic  requirements;
  • Protect natural resources in water, water bodies and wetlands by updating and enforcing environmental  and public health regulations;
  • At district and national level capacity is to be assured for emergency water supply and sanitation.  This capacity refers to common concerns such as annual flooding in teraidistricts and diarrhoea outbreaks in low-coverage districts or municipalities, as well as to damage to WASH services caused by landslides or earthquakes.
  • GoN to ensure through enabling policy environment, technical assistance, financing arrangements, capacity building and a regulatory  framework compliance with environmentally sound practice for the collection, treatment and safe disposal and discharge of all categories of waste and waste water.

3. Where households, communities and institutions aspire to higher levels of WASH service (in new or existing service areas), GoN at all levels shall facilitate these aspirations by supporting appropriate surveys and assessments of the implications for water resources, by encouraging the private sector (especially small and medium enterprises) through capacity building, vocational training (incl. certification), and access to targeted funding,  and by strengthening district offices of DWSS to become more effective advisors and intermediaries between communities and district-based WASH sector SMEs and NGOs on WASH improvements.
The above commitments need further consideration with respect to their planning and realization. This will be undertaken in the period May 2013 – June 2014. This website will provide regular updates on activities and documentation published.