Devchuli project successfully finished

11.12.2021 - Nepal

Waterfinns project Sustainable water supply and capacity building  in Devchuli municipality, Nepal was implemended with our local partner CATN, between January 2019 and March 2021.

The main goal of the project was to enhance the self-reliance of the municipality and communities to sustain their WASH services (water, sanitation, and hygiene) on a more professional and acceptable level based on Nepalese official criteria. The project aimed to ensure safe drinking water and healthy hygienic environment for the whole community, by applying tested management and operation & maintenance practices, new technologies and capacity building at the community, ward and municipality level.

The project was affected by the global covid-19 pandemic from early 2020 until the end of the project in March 2021. However, the project targets were achieved at an acceptable level despite the slower pace of the implementation, especially during March-August 2020. Because of the pandemic the project period was extended until March 2021 which turned out to be excellent decision: the activities were implemented by the end time.

During the project, the Devchuli Municipality officials agreed on the need to create and implement a WASH plan and Water Safety Plan (WSP). The officials also agreed on the governing role of municipality in WASH-management. Trainings for the created Water User and Sanitation Committee (WUSC) and municipality were run in 2020.

Some of the main obstacles included that some of the larger group meetings, conferences and trainings with and for the Municipality could not be conducted as planned. In general, activities required more time than expected. For instance, a water quality testing laboratory was established only in late 2020. The Master thesis project, which was part of the project, was delayed and the field visit to Nepal canceled, but the thesis project was successfully finalized with online meetings and interviews. Final monitoring was done remotely by an innovative way using KoboToolBox software and other online tools and by training the new remote management methods for all project staff in Finland and Nepal.

The municipality of Devchuli gradually took the role to ensure reasonable water supply and sanitation services to all its population by using natural, technical, financial and human resources in an adequate, efficient and sustainable manner, thus contributing to attainment of Nepal SDGs.

Activating the Devchuli municipality in WSP and WASH activities and establishing new staff positions in water sampling the new laboratory supported well the long-term objectives of the project. The collaboration with the municipality was successful in the project.

The project also focused on empowerment of women and girls e.g. through improvement and construction of school toilets as well as menstrual hygiene management (MHM) trainings. Menstrual hygiene remains a taboo subject in Nepal, which made the work challenging. However, the project managed in this area well.

Water quality in the area was improved and the baseline study water samples were tested again in the new laboratory established by the project. The municipality and WUSCs took ownership of the water schemes e.g. by establishing water tariffs, while the laboratory hired staff with their own funding. Furthermore, all water systems in the project area were mapped and digitalized and its condition and need of maintanance was analyzed.

Main results (2020+2021):

  • Supporting drinking water quality improvement, WASH plan, promoting better sanitation & hygiene behavior by enhancing the capacity of water user committee, local government officials and beneficiaries
  • Water supply, sanitation and hygiene strategy of ward 6, 7, 8 , 9 prepared and singed
  • Support in minor repair works to ensure the functionality of water systems and sanitation & hygiene campaigns
  • Water safety plan (WSP) has been introduced in all water systems with enhancing the capacity of water user committees (WUSCs)
  • All parameters of water quality is at accepted level in line with Nepal national standards in 5 schemes.
  • Support municipality and WUSCs to adopt human rights based approach (HRBA) in planning, implementation and benefits sharing
  • Establishment of good coordination & relations with municipality for co-funding into hardware (repair of pipelines, source improvement, etc) & software activities for upgrading and sustainable the WASH facilities.
  • Establishment of laboratory in Devchuli for water quality testing. Also water sampling plan and guidelines were finalized. (12/2020)
  • The project was also able to encourage the Devchuli municipality to establish a new position and hire & educate personnel (1) in the new laboratory. The recruitment and training were done autumn 2020.
  • ODF achieved again (household without toilet and toilet construction data). Total sanitation movement initiated in the project area. Ward 9 declared total sanitation zone.
  • CATN established a formal website for the first time which develops their capacity to provide consultancy and similar project in the future with national and international collaboration. (08/2020)

More results:

  • The water schemes were identified and schools in Devchuli explored and activated to participate the MHM-training and constructing. WUSCs and municipality officers in Devchuli have been identified and trained regularly in WASH- and MHM-themes.
  • Based on the findings and observing the E-coli test results, WUSCs have started adapting WSP-activities in the schemes. Chlorine dosing was started in schemes where the water source was river water, and total sanitation training was done. Trained WUSCs were designated to lead the total sanitation movement in their scheme areas. Self assessment was also done by the WUSCs to identify the present status and improvement needs.
  • Women and marginalized groups have been activated through the WUSCs.
  • Project group was formed and lead by the municipality to prepare water quality testing laboratory operation guideline. Municipality has decided to propose WASH-plan preparation to the municipal council, and plans to establish a water board to monitor and regulate the WUSCs. The project was also able to encourage the Devchuli municipality to establish a new position and hire & educate personnel (1) in the new laboratory. The recruitment was done in the end of 2019 and the laboratory will be completed in the end of 2020.
  • One post-graduate student from University of Turku, Finland was recruited to conduct master thesis research in 2020 for the project with topic "Water management in relation to SDGs and national guidance in a low-income country. Case study Devchuli, Nepal".