Quality Water Supply
Inadequate access to safe water supplies, combined with poor environmental sanitation and personal hygiene practices, account for around 80 per cent of the disease burden of Nepali under-fives, with an estimated 13,000 children dying each year. Improving the quantity and quality of water can reduce the number of diarrhoeal cases by 15–20 per cent. Currently, some 82 per cent of households in Nepal have access to an improved source of drinking water. However, quality testing of household drinking water shows high levels of microbiological contamination. Point-of-use water treatment options can boost the reduction of water related diseases by breaking the cycle of faecal–oral contamination.
Some drinking water sources in the 20 Terai districts are contaminated by naturally-occurring arsenic. An arsenic testing and mitigation programme is ongoing, and the wells of four remaining districts still need to be tested.
• Install or rehabilitate 175 gravity-flow water supply schemes.
By 2010, socially excluded and economically marginalised people will have increased access to safe, sustainable drinking water, in terms of both quantity and quality. Water Users’ Committees will fully represent the community and will be managing local water supply systems sustainably. Households will be treating drinking water at point of use. Schools will have safe and clean water supplies, and children will participate in the management of facilities through child clubs.
All drinking water sources in the terai will have been tested for arsenic, and households with contaminated supplies will use appropriate removal or avoidance options.