Community water projects effective, reveal studies

Kathmandu, June 2:

Community-managed urban water supply projects are relatively sustainable, financially sound and effective, according to 20 studies conducted in Nepal and Bangladesh.

The Central Department of Economics (CEDECON) under the Tribhuvan University conducted 10 case studies in Damak, Ilam, Dhulikhel, Khokana, Alok Hiti, Khadipakha, Khairanitar, Dandatole, Shreenagar and Mahendranagar under the project ‘Capacity Building for Enhancing Local Participation in Water Supply and Sanitation Interventions in Poor Urban Areas’.

The studies were conducted to inquire about the status of community-involved water projects.

The European Commission is providing financial support for the 18-month project, which aims to identify appropriate strategies, develop training materials and involve communities in water supply and sanitation (WSS) interventions in poor urban areas, said Bishwa Nath Tiwari, associate professor of the Tribhuvan University and project coordinator for Nepal.

“The lessons learnt from ground realities will be used to develop curriculum and training materials on how and to what extent local community involvement can help meet the Millennium Development Goals for WSS in the two countries,” Tiwari said. The Development Research Institute (IVO), Tilburg University, Netherlands, the Institut de Ciencia I Tecnologia Ambientals, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, the ITN-Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Bangladesh are implementing the project and preparing training manuals.

Dr Roldan Muradian of the IVO, Tilburg University, said that knowledge gained will be used to prepare training materials to build capacity among trainers from local institutions and grassroots organisations on how to make use of community participation in WSS interventions in poor urban areas. “We are interested in distributing these materials and helping strengthen collaboration,” Dr Muradian added.