Feb 7, 2011 – Kathmandu, Nepal: USAID recently began two new projects directly with two local Nepali organizations to improve access to water, sanitation, and hygiene for more than 65,000 people in Nepal’s mid- and far-western region, a US Embassy press release said Monday.
The first project – School-Led Safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement project – (SWASTHA) will benefit approximately 45,000 people in the mid-west. The second – Safe Practices on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene project (Safe-WASH) – will improve access to safe drinking water and sanitation facility and provide training on environmental sanitation, personal hygiene, irrigation and kitchen gardening to 27,000 rural people in the far-west, according to the release.
Regarding the launch of the two new programs, Jed Meline, Acting Mission Director of USAID/Nepal, remarked, “The socio-economic development, including access to water and sanitation, of these two regions lags far behind the rest of the country. New reforms at USAID, called USAID-Forward, encourage us to work directly with local organizations. These two projects are excellent examples of how local expertise and buy-in will ensure a better development outcome when working in these particularly challenging areas with some of the poorest and most vulnerable people.”
The poor situation of sanitation and health, particularly in the mid-western region, was exposed in 2009 when a cholera epidemic claimed the lives of more than 300 people. These two projects will help prevent such epidemics in the future, in addition to improving the well-being of some of the most vulnerable rural Nepalese, the release added.
The $345,200 SWASTHA program includes an integrated community-based water, sanitation and hygiene campaign to achieve “SWASTHA” communities, where all households have toilets, use household water treatment systems, and practice hygienic behavior.
In addition to the 45,000 people that will benefit, 54 schools will also benefit from improved child-friendly and gender-sensitive water, sanitation and hygiene facilities. This program will be implemented by the Environment and Public Health Organization (ENPHO), which will contribute approximately $33,200 of its own funds.
According to the release, the goal of the $449,900 Safe-WASH program is to contribute to the well-being of rural communities through equitable access to and efficient use of water resources and safe hygiene practices. The program will be implemented by the Social Empowerment and Building Accessibility Centre Nepal (SEBAC), which will contribute approximately $40,900 of its own funds. Source: nepalnews.com