Safe Practices on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (Safe-WASH) Project

The project operates in Nepal’s Far-Western region, where socio-economic development lags far behind the rest of the country, including in access to water and sanitation. The poor sanitation and health situation was exposed in 2009 when a cholera epidemic claimed the lives of more than 300 people in the Far- and Mid-Western regions. The project is working to prevent future such epidemics, in addition to improving the well-being of some of the most vulnerable, rural Nepalis. 


The $409,000 Safe-WASH project improves access to drinking water and sanitation facilities and promotes good sanitation practices, personal hygiene, and kitchen gardening for 27,000 people in the Far-West region. The project is implemented at the village and community level in 11 village development committees (VDC) of Achham district selected by the government-led District Water Supply and Sanitation Coordination Committee (WASHCC).  

The project works with the lower-level village WASHCCs to identify appropriate water schemes and to improve the ability of local government to supervise and support community-level activities. The project supports the national sanitation campaign, which aims to achieve zero open defecation across all of Nepal by 2017. 

Safe-WASH efforts are implemented in line with the Nepal National Master Plan for Sanitation and Hygiene 2011. The Achham District WASH Summit led by the project in 2011 successfully accelerated the pace of the district’s sanitation efforts.


The Safe-WASH project seeks to achieve three major results:

  • Improved access to water and sanitation through community-led household construction of latrines; and construction, renovation and protection of water supply schemes.
  • Improved hygiene behavior through increased capacity of local partners and community groups to deliver messages and improve knowledge and hygiene behavior practices in local communities.
  • Enhanced local governance of WASH sector through strengthened capacity of local partners and more effective coordination among WASH stakeholders. 

This project shares its learning on community mobilization and achievement of District Open Defecation Free status with WASH stakeholders at both the District and National WASH Coordinating Committees, which meet several times a year.   Achievement of that goal will improve public health and contribute to a heightened sense of dignity and cohesion in communities across Nepal.


To date, the project has helped achieve:

  • Declared 26 VDCs as Open Defecation Free (exceeding the initial goal of 11 VDCs)
  • Constructed or renovated 22 water supply schemes, benefitting nearly 5,200 people.  Interventions included water storage tanks, repaired and additional water supply distribution lines, and water taps with cemented platform for washing activities and proper drainage.  Two larger schemes were the Vaisikharka drinking water supply, newly constructed at Patlakot VDC benefitting 442 people, and the Sanfe Hatbazar drinking water supply renovated at Siddheshwor VDC, benefitting 1,500 people.
  • Protected 32 water spring sources against surface contamination by human or animal fecal matter or solid waste by construction of inlet tanks, benefitting nearly 700 people.
  • Improved WASH facility in 20 local school and/or health facility institutions.
  • Tested 65 water spring sources for water quality. The results signaled a greater need for household point-of-use water treatment and were shared with Water Users Groups.

Last updated: December 04, 2013

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