Inclusive and sustainable rural water supply services in Nepal

This project is active

Beyond the Finish Line, professionalising gender and socially-inclusive and sustainable rural water supply services in the Dailekh and Sarlahi districts of Nepal.

Beyond the Finish Line in Nepal is part of a five-year multi-country programme (2018-2022), which is being implemented by SNV in Nepal, Bhutan and Lao PDR. Supported by the Water for Women Fund of the Australian government, the project is a collaborative initiative between SNV, the Institute for Sustainable Futures of University of Technology Sydney (ISF-UTS), and the Ministry of Water Supply, together with the National Federation of Disabled in Nepal and CBM Australia.

The programme builds on Nepal's extensive experience in rural water supply services and the success of the SSH4A approach in supporting the government’s post-open defecation free (ODF) drive – ‘Total Sanitation’ –  which currently takes place against the backdrop of decentralisation. As the country moves towards a ‘fully-functioning federalised state,’ the programme is committed to advancing the districts of Dailekh (Province 6) and Sarlahi (Province 2) as (decentralised) role models to follow in realising inclusive WASH services that are: sustainable, offer resilient water supply services, and incorporate hygiene behaviour change communications in development strategies for households, schools and health care facilities.

Selected district programme areas represent two very different terrains in the country. District-specific project results will offer insights into developing inclusive and scalable WASH services for: a) gravity-fed water supply systems, mainly for those living up in the hills/mountains (Dailekh), and b) groundwater-based systems, mainly for those living in the plains of the terai (Sarlahi).

Applying a multi-component approach that is an extended version of the Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (SSH4A) model, the project seeks to professionalise and improve functionality of all groups involved in WASH services delivery. It will:

  • strengthen the capacity of the local governments of Dailekh and Sarlahi to lead multi-stakeholder sector planning, monitoring and targeting of investments, based on internationally-recognised human rights principles -;
  • improve the performance of rural water supply implementers (construction of schemes) and operators of waters supply services to provide gender- and socially inclusive, resilient, and sustainable water supply services;
  • strengthen post-construction support services on technical, management, financial and social aspects for operators to deliver gender- and socially inclusive, resilient, and sustainable water supply services;
  • improve the capacity of the local governments of Dailekh and Sarlahi to implement evidence-based inclusive and accessible hygiene SBCC around key behaviours such as handwashing with soap (HWWS), menstrual hygiene management (MHM), cleanliness of toilets, safe water use and conservation at households, schools, and health facilities, and address social norms and attitudes;
  • contribute to national learning and harmonisation by using project learning to develop role models to achieve wider gender- and socially inclusive outcomes; and
  • mainstreaming the GESI (Gender Equality and Social Inclusion) approach across all programme components, and encouraging the leadership, voice, and choice of potentially disadvantaged groups, e.g., women, people with disability, and people who are socially excluded in households, communities, and institutions.



Photo credits: All images by Nico Hertweck for SNV | (Banner) Community members of the Malhaniya Saptari district gather for a behavioural change communications workshop, July 2018 | (Right) Salyan district resident demonstrates how her family stores drinking water


Key facts



Improvements in existing services increase access to basic water supply for 40,000 additional people and 30 additional institutions (health facilities and schools)


40,000 additional people and 10,000 additional students wash their hands with soap during two critical moments


2,000 additional female students practise safe menstrual hygiene management in schools, and 500 additional people with disability gain access to appropriate WASH facilities at home

Our experts

Gabrielle Halcrow

Multi-country Programme Manager, Beyond the Finish Line

Ratan Bahadur Budhathoki

Programme Leader - Inclusive and sustainable rural water supply services in Nepal

Donors & Partners