Over 15 million people don't have access to adequate sanitation in Nepal, over half of the population.

people in Nepal don't have access to safe water.

1,600 children die every year from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation in Nepal.

Even before the fatal earthquakes, Nepal’s mountainous landscape made providing clean water difficult. Many people must make long, dangerous journeys to reach water sources and just 37% of the population has somewhere safe to go to the toilet. Now things are even more challenging.

The crisis

3.3 million people in Nepal don't have access to safe water – more than one in ten. In the rural lowlands and the mountains, the distance to water sources is great, and water supplies are often polluted with naturally occurring arsenic.

Over 17 million people don't have access to adequate sanitation in Nepal – over half of the population. Open defecation is common, helping diseases to spread fast. As a result, 1,555 children die every year from diarrhoea.

In urban areas, the water supply cannot keep up with growing demand – natural sources are drying up and water levels are becoming dangerously low. The two 2015 earthquakes have left many people homeless and ruined infrastructure, making the situation even worse.

Our approach

WaterAid uses technologies that are appropriate to Nepal’s mountainous landscape, such as gravity flow systems to bring water directly from the source to people’s homes, helping them to avoid long and treacherous journeys.

We work with local partners who understand the issues communities face, providing them with the skills and support they need to help set up practical and sustainable services. We work with communities, so that they can maintain their new facilities with minimal support.

Since the earthquakes, we have been focusing on promoting good hygiene practices and providing supplies to keep people healthy in difficult circumstances. This is part of longer-term hygiene work, such as supporting schools programmes to share information about handwashing and menstrual hygiene to children and teachers.

Our impact

In Nepal last year we reached:

  • 81,000 people with safe water
  • 105,000 people with improved sanitation