Sustainable Development Success Stories

Dhulikhel water supply project

Location Municipality of Dhulikhel, Nepal (20 km east of Kathmandu City).
Responsible Organisation Government Agency of Nepal with financial and technical assistance from the Government of Germany (GTZ). The local Municipal Office provided the support during the planning, construction, and O&M phases of the project.
Description The project started in 1989 as a component of Dhulikhel Development Project, and completed in 1994. The water supply scheme fulfills about 80% of the water demand of the town through 605 private and 22 public taps. Before its implementation, people used localized springs and streams as their drinking water sources. Scarce water quality was a main cause of poor health among the water users. The Mayor took the leadership in advocating the importance of and need for safe drinking water for better health and improved sanitary conditions. The project was designed for full treatment of water with sedimentation, sand filter and chlorination facilities incorporated to the system. The users seriously questioned the project s cost, but once they understood the importance of safe water the project was well accepted. The system is now fully managed by a Users Committee of ten members including the Mayor. All the decisions regarding operation and management are entirely made by the Committee. A civil engineer with subordinate staff was recruited as a technical unit to look after all the technical matters.
Issues Addressed Health, Capacity Building.
Results Achieved Managerial, technical, and financial capacity building at local level were successfully developed. Better services to the users increased their willingness to contribute and further support the plan for recovering both capital and operation costs.

The service provides 24 hours supply. The percentages of the leakage and wastage in the system are kept below 10 percent.

Reduction of water-borne diseases and of time spent by women and girl-children on water collection, allow them to use that time for other productive purposes and for taking better care of the children. As safe water is adequately available household sanitation conditions have been improved.

The success of the water system opened avenues for the Water Users Committee to venture into other developmental and social activities like promotion of sanitation, solid waste disposal, establishment of a nursing home, establishment of schools and colleges, etc. and ultimately the extension of such services to the adjoining areas.

Lessons Learned Partnership between the users, the municipality, the government agency and the donor was key in implementation of the project. Involvement of the beneficiary communities from the very beginning of the project to the completion stage, and carrying out the related measures of capacity building to enable the committee of local users, have given very fruitful results in implementing and managing medium sized projects like the ones at Dhulikhel, Kakarbhitta, Damak and Sanischare.

The introduction of a policy of supporting such projects with initial financial support for the first three years maximum in a declining manner, attracted the water users committee to come forward and take over the operation and management of the systems.

Despite a general belief that is the Government s obligation to provide water free of charges, the community organizations were able to persuade the users to pay for the services from the public stand-posts and convert them into metered community taps. The Users Committee levied the water tariff even higher than the normal water tariff set by the public water utilities in other towns of Nepal and there was no complain from the beneficiaries.

Strong local leadership was continuously available for both the pre- and post-construction phases of the project and the beneficiaries were involved in all the stages of planning construction, operation, and management. It was an innovative scheme in which the users took full responsibility for its operation and management. This also proved that users management is better than the conventional top-down approach. Social acceptance and consensus also played a very important role; the local people are fully satisfied with the services provided and are more willing to pay for better services.

Contact Mr. Bel Prasad Shrestha, Mayor
Dhulikhel, Kabhre, Nepal
Tel. (977 011) 613 24, (977 011) 613 29