Freshwater Action Network
– grassroots influencing on water and sanitation

Nepal leads Water for Asian Cities program

Nepal leads Water for Asian Cities program

Nepal has been ranked most successful among Asian and African countries in UN-HABITAT's Water for Asian Cities (WAC) program which aims to  support cities in Asia and the pacific region to meet water and sanitation related Millennium Development Goals by enhancing capacity at city, country and regional levels and creating an enabling environment for pro-poor investments to be channeled into the urban water and sanitation sector. 

Andre Dzikus, of UN-HABITAT's Water, Sanitation and Infrastructure Branch, who presented the findings of the program's impact evaluation study in Kathmandu, said that the project has demonstrated tangible impacts in pilot areas as well as given momentum to urban water and sanitation investment programs. 

Dzikus believes that these achievements and successful practices will encourage other donor agencies to continue their financial support in Nepal in the days ahead. He expressed his happiness that UN-HABITAT is delivering very good work on poverty and gender mapping that has been acknowledged and applied by key ministries in Nepal.

Nepal stood out because: 

  1. Government released more funds in the last 5 years compare to other countries
  2. It is a successful partnership with civil societies, NGOs and government Departments
  3. Good linkages with other developmental projects related to water and sanitation
  4. Addressed and raised the profile of pro-poor urban governance

And the following includes some key activities that is were appreciated by stakeholders:


  • Supported development of several policies like Urban Environmental Guideline, Solid Waste Management Guideline and Act, Rainwater harvesting policy, Urban WATSAN policy
  •  Introduction of poverty mapping in municipalities and insitutionalisation
  •  Post construction support in ADB assisted small town water supply project for sustainable operation and management. The programme supported to strengthened user committee capacity, increased coverage of water and sanitation facilities in poor communities and improved in tariff collection system.
  •  Improvement of water and sanitation facilities in several poor areas.
  •  Promotion and Introduction of Community Managed Decentralised Wastewater Management System
  •  Private Sector Participation in promotion of household water treatment in urban centers


Within this program, UN-HABITAT is supporting FANSA with its work on climate change adaptation, communication and network strengthening.  

Lajana Manandhar, Country Convener, Freshwater Action Network (FAN) Nepal suggested  UN-HABITAT strengthens and scales up the service delivery component of the program to address the problems at the grassroots level and engages more in strategic influencing:

“It's important that UN-HABITAT develops strategic approaches to deal with multi-dimensional institutions like the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.”

Prakash Amatya, FANSA's Regional Communication Officer and NGO Forum's Executive Director, pressed for civil society representation in the program's national steering committee - it currently consists only of government agencies.

Krishna Prasad Acharya, joint secretary, Ministry of Physical Planning and Works expressed his commitment to replicate the successful practices of UN-HABITAT in other urban areas:

“I hope UN-HABITAT continues its good work, as the ministry is very interested in working together.”