29 million

Nepal is home to some of the most extreme landscapes on earth. It’s the things that make the country so beautiful – the biggest mountains, widest valleys and heaviest monsoon rains – that make it that much harder to reach people with clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene. 

The Nepali people have had more than their fair share of challenges. Earthquakes, political upheaval, civil war and extreme poverty have forced them to be resilient.

But together, we’ve made great progress since we began working here in 1987. Nepal came third in our 2015 ranking of countries making the biggest improvements in sanitation, and nine in ten people now have clean water. More people than ever before are also aware of the importance of good hygiene, enabling them to stay safe and healthy. 

But there’s more we need to do. One in ten people lacks clean water and almost half the population still needs a decent toilet. Water and sanitation-related diseases are among the biggest public health problems – one of the top reasons children don’t make it to their fifth birthday.

Together, we can change this for the better. By helping people claim their rights. By joining with others to put strong systems in place. By putting water, toilets and hygiene at the centre of health and education. And by always looking forwards – applying new research, big ideas and sustainable technology.

people have clean water.

That's over 25 million people.

people don't have a decent toilet.

Almost half of the population.

children under 5 die a year from diarrhea.

Caused by dirty water and poor toilets.

After the earthquake

Image: Mani Karmacharya
Now the hygiene and sanitation situation is improved and people have access to clean drinking water. I am proud to be associated with this project!
Krishna Bahadur Sunuwar, 58 - Koshidekha, Nepal

Being a plumber is an important job. But when an earthquake destroys eight in ten of your community’s toilets, it’s vital. We’ve been working with Krishna Sunuwar to rebuild the taps and toilets in his village of Kharelthok, in the hills of Nepal. 

He says, “When I came here after the earthquake, the situation was not good. The water was not properly managed. The toilets were damaged and people used to defecate openly. It was even very difficult for us to go to the toilet during work. But now all the households have constructed toilets." 

Krishna's tireless work has helped Kharelthok recover from the earthquakes that struck it. He's proud of the results: "I am very happy about the fact that my children and future generations of this community will no longer have to drink dirty water, and that they will have a life free of diseases."

Shame, secrecy and taboo

Eating with your family, touching certain foods, looking in the mirror. All these things are forbidden for 'impure' girls on their period. Manisha, 14, and her friends have taken stunning photographs that capture these taboos.

Image: WaterAid/Mani Karmacharya

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