Just 61 of 1,000 water projects to see light of day

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, June 17:

The government is running over 1,000 water projects throughout the country but only 61 will achieve completion this year, thanks to instability and budget crunch. “We will complete 61 drinking water projects by this fiscal year, which will provide drinking water facilities to around 159,000 people,” said Hari Ram Koirala, director general of Department of Water and Sewerage and Sanitation (DWSS). The government is committed to provide access to drinking

water to all by 2015, according to Millenium Development Goal commitment. DWSS is working

on a policy to distribute purified water in areas where underground water has carcinogenic elements, like arsenic. Of 20 Terai districts, tube wells in eight are under scrutiny to ascertain whet-her water contains arsenic. “Till now, arsenic level over the national standard has been detected in 11,240 tube wells. We are working to provide alternative water sources to locals,”

Koirala added. The DWSS is, howverer, not working on making a database of NGOs focussed on water and sanitation, said director general. It is handling Small Town Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Project and Community-based Water Suppliy and Sanitation Project.