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Step-By-Step Approach to Sustainable Water Supply Services


The foundations for a sustainable future are built step-by-step.

The Step-By-Step approach was developed to guide all stakeholders through a participatory interactive planning and implementation process over the years. It evolved during the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Support Programme in the Lumbini zone (1990-2005) and more recently through the Rural Village Water Resources Management Project in the Mid and Far Western regions (since 2006). This Step-By-Step approach was updated again for the RWSSP-WN Phase II, in the beginning of September 2013 and then again for the new local governance structure in 2017-2018.


The Step-By-Step approach guides multiple stakeholders through the planning, implementation and post-construction phases. It builds the capacity and sense of ownership in the communities to ensure future sustainability. It also ensures transparency in procurement and accountability in financial management. Attention is provided to develop services that respond to the needs of the communities and provide water for domestic, sanitation, hygiene and productive uses. Multiple-use of water has the potential for enhanced livelihoods and thereby can increase the sustainability of the system itself.


The Step-By-Step approach is applied to all schemes in RWSSP-WN, inlcuding both water supply schemes and construction of institutional/school/public toilets. These schemes were identified and prioritised in the Village Development Committee (VDC) WASH Plans, and as taken up for action in the respective annual plans by the respective local governments. It is fully embedded into local governance system from the on-set.


The Step-By-Step approach has three main phases, each guided through one step at a time:


Preparatory Phase introduces and applies inclusive and gender-sensitive planning tools to ensure that the schemes are both technically and socially acceptable, responding to the needs of all potential beneficiaries. The foundations for sustainable future are built at this phase, step-by-step.


Implementation Phase is where the Water Users and Sanitation Committee (WUSC) capacity is developed through gradual learning-by-doing, backed up by the individual training events and scheduled monitoring visits, while the actual scheme construction proceeds.


Post-Construction Phase is where the WUSC prepares Water Safety Plan ++ to guide them in sustainable scheme operation and maintenance. Some schemes may get Post-Construction Investment Support to improve their functionality and sustainability.The Post-Construction Phase is specific for each unique situation, tailored to fit the needs of each individual case.


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