DWSS to spend Rs 1.3b on water, sanitation projects

Kathmandu, October 2:

The Department of Water Supply and Sewerage (DWSS) is spending Rs 1.3 billion on water and sanitation projects at the central level, of which 63.7 per cent of the budget will be borne by foreign donors.

The major development projects on the pipeline, or currently in operation under the department at central level are Small Town Water and Sanitation Sector Project and Community Water and Sanitation Project, supported by the Asian Development Bank, Water Quality Monitoring Project supported by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Sewage Construction Project and others. Other major donors for Nepal’s water and sanitation sector are World Health Organisation (WHO), UN Human Shelter Programme (UN-HABITAT) and the Swiss Government.

These projects will get foreign support worth Rs 842 million.

The DWSS has also planned to launch two district level projects for which the government would invest Rs 1.2 billion and the donors would provide Rs 40 million. The department has a target to have 20,000 toilets constructed in the country in the running fiscal year.

“Thus, we have a budget of Rs 2.6 billion for various projects for the fiscal year 2064/65,” said the director general of DWSS, Hari Prasad Sharma, talking to this daily.

Other major projects in the department’s pipeline are Environment Sanitation Project, National Information Management and Follow Up Project, Deep Tube-well and Metering Project, Human Resources Development Project and others, he said.

“Although the projects of the DWSS are being supported by the donors, the project details are planned and designed with full participation of local communities, who also have to invest for their projects. In many cases, they even pay back loans,” he said.

The DWSS has also planned to perform arsenic concentration tests in shallow tube wells in seven districts of the Tarai — Jhapa, Morang, Mahottari, Chitwan, Banke, Bardiya and Dang, and launch more programmes to mitigate impact of arsenic in all Tarai 20 districts.

Ishwari Paudel, spokesperson of the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works, said that the projects would be more effective if all the political leaders understand the urgency of the projects and the Ministry of Finance supports with adequate budget.