Securing more inclusive and climate-resilient WASH services for 41,200 people in the Dailekh and Sarlahi districts of Nepal.

Inclusive climate resilient rural WASH services – Nepal (ICRRWASH-Nepal) is part of an ongoing multi-country programme partnership with the Government of Australia’s Water for Women Fund implemented by SNV with partners in Bhutan, Lao PDR, and Nepal. Concluding in December 2024, ICRRWASH-Nepal contributes to advancing gender equality, disability and social inclusion, and people’s health and well-being by introducing area-wide and inclusive approaches to rural WASH development.

In collaboration with government partners, NGOs, rights holders’ organisations, UTS-ISF, IWMI, and CBM Australia, SNV’s ICRRWASH-Nepal project enhances local government (Rural Municipalities) capacity to manage gravity-fed systems in Dailekh and groundwater-based systems in Sarlahi, making them more resilient to climate change.

The project builds on SNV in Nepal's earlier success in enabling people’s access to basic hygiene services (99.1%) and water services (98.7%), reaching nearly everybody in both districts.

The diverse geographic terrain of Nepal increases the level of difficulty to develop climate-resilient WASH programmes. Pictured above are WASH stakeholders working together to protect their water source from landslides.

Local governance approaches and methodologies that leave no-one behind are at the heart of ICRRWASH-Nepal.

(1) Raising local governments’ understanding of the impacts of climate change on rural water and the capacity to respond in line with national government standards to:

  • engage in climate risk vulnerability assessments, climate risk-informed planning, budgeting, and implementation of resilient and area-wide water supply services across Nepal’s hills and plains. 

  • work with water resource management tools and methodologies that help advance water security.

  • ensure the preservation and continuity of inclusive WASH gains in access and systems improvement, including training elected representatives to operationalise their respective Climate Resilient Water Supply strategies, 2022-30 and recently developed WASH Plan 2023.

(2) Promoting the broad application of gender equality, disability, and social inclusion (GEDSI) approaches by:

  • institutionalising spaces for the meaningful participation (and strengthened voice) of people with disabilities in WASH planning (e.g., by setting up disability help desks at local government).

  • mainstreaming GESI in local government WASH planning and budgeting, i.e., local government officials engaging in a GESI self-assessment tool and incorporating findings to improve inclusivity in rural water governance, annual planning, and budgeting processes.

  • increasing awareness of gender biases and stereotypes in the division of WASH labour and responsibilities within households and communities, e.g., by applying a WASH-GEM survey tool in applied research and documenting the disproportionate impacts of climate change and communities’ coping mechanisms.

  • enhancing local leaders’ capacity to address the differential impacts of climate change.

(3) Contributing to rural water development knowledge generation and practice by:

  • introducing approaches that strengthen local government leadership in driving climate-resilient WASH.

  • documenting inclusive and climate-resilient coping mechanisms by households and community-based groups, and

  • applying climate change risk and vulnerability analyses, to inform local adaptation plans and investments. 

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