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Quality Water Supply

© UNICEF/NEP687/MChamberlain

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.

Activities

• Install or rehabilitate 175 gravity-flow water supply schemes.
• Provide training on management of water supply facilities to members of Water Users’ Committees, and increase the number of Water Users’ Committees with proportional representation of women and disadvantaged
groups.
• Improve the knowledge and skills of parents, particularly mothers, on point-of- use water treatment options (boiling, chlorination, solar disinfection and filtration) through mass media and interpersonal promotion campaigns, dissemination of informative materials, and social mobilisation by Water Users’ Committee members and Female Community Health Volunteers.
• Test drinking water sources in the remaining four terai districts, and update the arsenic management information system.
• Ensure that all households with arsenic-contaminated sources above 0.05 mg per litre have knowledge about, and access to products for its removal or avoidance through training on safe water options and distribution of water filters.

Expected results

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.

 

 

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