In Nepal, the 2015 earthquake had a devastating impact on everyone, especially those living in rural areas and in poverty. It worsened a difficult situation, destroying houses and infrastructure, leaving many without access to basic hand washing facilities or clean water. Prior to the earthquake only 31% of girls and 47% of boys had access to toilets in schools. It is estimated that nine out of ten schools in the worst-affected areas were destroyed, resulting in 1.4 million children unable to go to school.

According to UNICEF, Today, 10.8 million people in Nepal do not have access to improved sanitation, 3.5 million do not have access to basic water services, and 39% of schools don't have separate toilets for girls and boys. 40% of the rural population don't have access to basic sanitation services (World Bank 2017).

Period Poverty: Breaking the Stigma

Our WASH project in Nepal 

WASH for Education

The problem

The people living in the remote, rural areas of South Lalitpur and Sunsari where poverty is widespread continue to live without clean water and adequate sanitation. While nationally there has been good progress towards Government-identified WASH goals, it is uneven and infrastructure is often poorly maintained. Nationally one in ten people still do not have clean water and almost 50% of the population lack access to a decent toilet or sanitation. In the proposed project area the picture is considerably worse.

Already poor and remote, the devastating 2015 earthquake worsened a difficult situation. Prior to the earthquake only 31% of girls and 47% of boys had access to toilets in schools. It is estimated that nine out of ten schools in the worst-affected areas were destroyed, resulting in 1.4 million children unable to go to school.

​Our local partner

Voice of Children has been working with children living and working on the streets of Nepal since 2000. It raises awareness of child abuse and provides legal, social and psychological support to children and their families. Voice of Children works to prevent further increase in the number of street children by working with vulnerable families living in urban areas and slums. These families are offered support to improve their life skills to save their children from ending up on the street.

We are also working with a technical partner Urban Environment Management Society (UEMS) in Nepal. UEMS are providing technical support for the construction of the toilets and water purification systems, and are building the capacity of VOC staff on WASH to embed knowledge and will provide WASH information for the awareness-raising sessions.

Project objectives

The project aims to support 7,400 vulnerable children, with a focus on 3,800 girls and 200 children with disabilities, to stay or re-enrol in school by tackling a significant cause of drop out and poor attendance – the lack of adequate provision of WASH facilities in school and a lack of understanding and adoption of hygiene and sanitation practices in poor, remote, rural Nepal.

This will be done through:

i) Improved child and girl-friendly, accessible WASH facilities in 20 schools in South Lalitpur and Sunsari, which cater to a poor and rural student population.

ii) Students taking the lead in promoting sanitation and hygiene awareness and adoption within their schools to their fellow students.

iii) Community capacity built to respond to families’ WASH needs over the long term benefitting a total population of 15,375 people.

​Our activities

The project will take place in 20 schools where we have existing activities to support at-risk children to stay in school or re-enrol. It responds to a clearly identified need that poor WASH contributes to poor attendance and increases the risk of drop out among poor children, particularly girls and children with disabilities. Build or rehabilitate 40 toilets to ensure a minimum of two separate toilets in each school, one for boys and one for girls, with lockable doors. Toilets will be fully accessible with ramps and handrails where needed.

  • Provide adequate handwashing facilities with each toilet: a water tank, tap, soap and hand drying materials.
  • Provide 1,000 litre water tanks and water purification systems to the 20 schools for safe drinking water to reduce the risk of water-borne disease.
  • Provide WASH kits (containing a water bottle, soap, a towel, toothbrush and toothpaste, sanitary pads, water jugs, and a poster with key WASH information) to students identified as particularly vulnerable and sanitary products to girls at risk of dropping out.
  • Train peer mobilisers in safe hygiene practices, leadership, and facilitation skills to lead activities that will be integrated into the programme of existing child rights clubs in school.
  • Run child and gender-friendly WASH awareness-raising and life skills sessions in the classrooms.
  • Support the children’s clubs to be co-responsible, along with Parent Teacher Associations for the maintenance and promotion of the WASH facilities.
  • Provide training for women’s community groups to produce sanitary products and hygiene products for use and as an income-generating activity.
  • Train the PTA and women’s group members on WASH and adopting good practices, benefitting 15,000 community members.
  • The impact of the project will be monitored from a baseline survey and progress against key milestones, using quantitative and qualitative data. Project progress will be evaluated on a quarterly and annual basis, together with input from stakeholders, and activities revised where necessary. An independent evaluation will be conducted at the end of the project. Learning and best practice from the project will be shared through NGO networks and WASH coalitions.

​Our donor

This is a three-year project funded by Jersey Overseas Aid which started in May 2019. Total budget for the project is £353,000.

UN Sustainability Development Goals

  • SDG's - Good Health and Well-Being
  • SDG's - Quality Education
  • SDG's - Gender Equality
  • SDG's - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG's - Reduced Inequalities
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