Access and Coverage

 

We are dedicated to serve the unserved, to reach the corners that are yet to be reached. The Western development region of Nepal generally has high water supply coverage. However, data accuracy and service functionality add a layer of uncertainty to the overall situation. 

 

The reasons why people in the area do not have access to adequate water supply include: (i) remoteness, (ii) too small clusters of households, (iii) social exclusion, (iv) too high intervention costs, and (v) technical obstacles. In many cases there is a combination of these factors. The size of the problem and the affected groups are not known precisely but existing knowledge on these issues can provide indications.

 

How do we find the unserved and the unreached? The definitions are important: ‘unserved’ and ‘improved’ need to be clearly defined and monitored. Here ‘previously unserved’ means no previous access to improved water supply. ‘Improved water supply’ in turn is defined as providing service at Service Level 1  measured by the four QARQ- indicators: Quality, Access, Reliability and Quantity.

 

Planning at the district and the municipality levels is of high importance. Municipality WASH Coordination Committees and District WASH Coordination Committees play an important role in ensuring that the new water supply investments reach the unreached. Both VDC WASH plans and District Strategic WASH Plans remain valid planning documents:  schemes are selected based on the priorization of these plans.

 

Access is also about physical access and inclusion. Both water supply and sanitation services need to be accessible to all, at all times: for the disabled, elderly, sick, menstruating women, children, all castes and ethnicities.

 

Water Users and Sanitation CommitteeS (WUSCs) are in charge of regular operation and maintenance (O&M). Therefore, each WUSC should have a clear plan for the O&M and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) from the beginning of the construction works. Water Safety Plan (WSP) supports WUSCs in both O&M and other sustainability related activities such as watershed management and protection of water sources.

 

In the future, Municipality WASH Units should be able to sustain and increase access to and functionality of water supply schemes without external assistance, and to help WUSCs to carry out O&M and possible extension & repair works in their water supply schemes.The WUSC should also be guided to find external resources and technical assistance in case of major repair needs.

 

Photo: Water supply and sanitation are important services also for the schools. No student should spend time carrying water to the school.