Kathmandu, May 8
The South Asian Women Development Forum (SAWDF), in partnership with Tata Project Ltd of India, today launched a project named ‘Creating women-run enterprises for marketing safe drinking water’ in Nepal.
The project is a replication of Tata Water Project, under the Tata Project Ltd, which ensures safe drinking water at affordable price, with the cutting-edge technology and expertise.
The Tata Water Project has dispensed 18 billion litres of drinking water to more than three million people and has generated over 1,000 women entrepreneurs over the last one decade in India.
The SAWDF-launched project is a five-year project. Under this project, SAWDF, Tata Project and other supporting organisations will help women entrepreneurs to establish 200 women-run water enterprises across the country over the next two years. Initially, two such enterprises will be set up in Banepa and Panauti of Kavre district.
Partnering organisations aim to establish 73 such water enterprises in different places within the next one year.
Pramila Acharya Rijal, president of SAWDF, said that the project has been introduced in Nepal primarily to boost women entrepreneurship and increase women’s contribution and access to the economy and national Dev.
“Despite being rich in water resources, majority of country’s population, especially in city areas, do not have access to safe drinking water. In such context, implementation of this project will ensure that people get to drink safe water at affordable price,” said Rijal.
As per Rijal, establishing one such water enterprise requires investment of almost Rs 1.5 million. However, she said that women entrepreneurs will be required to inject only 20 per cent of the necessary budget, while Rastriya Banijya Bank will issue remaining amount as loan at subsidised rate.
SAWDF has inked an agreement with the Rastriya Banijya Bank to offer loan to women entrepreneurs for the aforementioned project at subsidised rate.
Addressing the project launching ceremony, Minister for Water Supply Bina Magar said that the government will not only support this women-led project but also facilitate in ensuring the success of the project.
A version of this article appears in print on May 09, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.