Rural Village Water Resources Management Project, Phase III

Project TitleRural Village Water Resources Management Project, Phase III
Project PeriodMarch 2016 to August 2022
Total Budget of Project € 60.2 Millionनेपाल सरकारGrant
Budgetary SupportTechnical Assistance + Others
€15 Million€21.486 Million€12.092 Million 
Government of Nepal: 15 MEUR; Government of Finland + European Union: 35 MEUR; Local Level + Community Contribution: 15.2 (Total of altogether: 60.2 MEUR)
Development PartnerGovernment of Finland and the European Union
Brief introduction of projectRural Village Water Resources Management Project, Phase III (RVWRMP III) is a multilateral project funded by the Government of Nepal, the European Union, and the Government of Finland with certain contributions from the local community. The project is being implemented in the villages of Sudurpaschim and Karnali provinces of Nepal since 2006.
The first phase of the project was implemented from October 2006 to August 2010, the second phase from September 2010 to February 2016 and the current Phase-III started in March 2016 and will be effective until August 2022. Currently, the project is being implemented under the jurisdiction of local governments.
The project’s mission is to work with local people and municipalities to contribute for achieving national target of 100% access to safe drinking water supply and basic sanitation in the project area. The project works for improving the nutrition and rural livelihoods of the local people by providing home gardens, income generation assistance, and developing local cooperatives.
In addition, the project emphasizes on the use of renewable energy for the local people of project areas of Nepal with a focus on solar lift water supply schemes, solar mini grid, improved cooking stoves, and improved water mills. The project also supports in the area of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. The local levels of the project areas are being facilitated to regulate water resources and water uses, and to plan and implement livelihood programs in a systematic way.
Gender equity and social inclusion (GESI), local ownership, transparency, and accountability are the core values, integrated to project modalities, activities, and implementation efforts.
Goal of the projectGoal To improve public health and reduce multidimensional poverty within the project working area. Objectives Construction of schools, health centers and public toilets Construction of drinking water supply schemes Provide support in agribusiness activities. provide Support in irrigation and solar mini-grids.
Expected ResultsInstitutionalized community capacity to construct and maintain community managed water supply and adopt appropriate WASH technologies and sanitation and hygiene behavior. Improved and sustainable nutrition, food security and sustainable income at community level through water resources based livelihoods development. Increased resilience to disasters and climate change as well as promotion of climate change mitigation and adaptation. GoN institutionalized capacity to continue integrated water resources planning and support to communities in implementing and maintaining WASH and livelihood activities.
Major activities of the projectFormulation of Water Use Master Plans of the rural municipalities. Implementation of drinking water supply schemes. Support in agribusiness activities and provide technical support for five value chains for income generation. Enhance capacity of local cooperatives to proliferate capital for income generation.  Construction of schools, health centers and public toilets Awareness programs for disaster risk reduction and climate change and behavior change. Support in irrigation and solar mini-grids. Promotion of improved cooking stoves and water mills. Institutional capacity enhancement of local level governments and non-governmental organizations.
Project AreaKarnali Province:
Dailekh and Humla  (2 districts)
Sudurpaschim Province:
Achham, Baitadi, Bajhang, Bajura, Dadeldhura, Darchula, Doti, and
Kailali (8districts)
Progress of the project (up to December 2020)Physical Progress :75%
Financial Progress: 77%
Major activitiesProject’s Progress
Number of water supply schemes Water Supply beneficiaries Institutional Toilets Home Garden beneficiaries Population of Income Generation Solar Mini-grid (total capacity from two: 150 kW) Irrigation Cooperative Shareholders839
258,604 (139,521 ongoing)
255,330 (17,645 ongoing)
0(in ongoing stage)
39,284 (25,918 ongoing)
Success Stories of the ProjectRestoring and improving traditional Naulas and spring-sheds Description: Screenshot 2020-09-13 15
Figure 1 Traditional Naula (left) and improved Naula (right)
Naulas are traditional water sources within the villages in the hills of Nepal. Naulas provide drinking water around the year but the discharge drops to less than 0.01 liter per second during the dry season and eventually dries up completely during droughts. Naulas are fed by groundwater (sub-surface flow) from small local catchments: the so-called ‘spring-shed’. Rainwater infiltrates in the soil until it is blocked by an impermeable layer. The water accumulates in a kind of local aquifer that functions as an underground reservoir. The water flows slowly down to the point of the source.
In the case study (link Improving water supply from rain-fed “traditional naulas. A novel climate-smart experience from the Far West, Nepal”).Recharge, Retain and Re-use (3R) measures make the water supply more resilient in the face of climate change.
The Naula water points and ‘spring-sheds’ suffer from land degradation and contamination. Lately, they also suffer from the heavy machinery that is used for road construction. It has been reported in several cases that the movement of excavators for the construction of the local roads has disturbed the underground water flow from spring-sheds to the Naulas.
Protecting, restoring and improving the traditional Naulas and spring-sheds is an important alternative to provide households with drinking water since the mountain streams and other water sources are often far away from the human settlements. These schemes need expensive infrastructure while under continuous risks of landslides along the pipeline. Another problem is that these sources often lie in the territory of another village that is not always willing to share the water. Impact / moral of the story: Due to the human induced activities and climate change’s effect, the many water sources are depleting. This is causing negative impacts on human health and lifestyles. To combat the negative effects, Recharge, Retain and Re-use (3R) measures have been experienced most appropriate. Women share stories on hygiene practices and self-realization The conversation of women’s hygiene was among the hidden topic in rural areas of Nepal. The open discussions about the menstruation, sanitary pads were regarded as the topic of embarrassment. The social tradition during the menstrual cycle is still being practiced in Sudurpaschim and Karnali known as Chhaupadi. In this system, women on menstrual cycle are compelled to sleep in Chhau huts (see text box). We also have had a bad experience regarding the accidents of animal’s attack, rap and other health issues during the time in Chhau hut. Rules and regulations from the government, increasing literacy rates and the impact of social media has helped to reduce this social taboo however  there is a long way to move. Description: Screenshot 2020-09-13 16
“Intergenerational dialogue contributes to better understanding of existing behavior  patterns and helps to find levers for positive change” Hence, to share and discuss about the common problem women have been facing during their menstrual cycle and to teach them about the female hygiene, a two days’ workshop was organized under Rural Village Water Resources Management Project, Phase III. 37 Sasu-Buhari (mothers in law and daughters in law) were actively participated in the two days’ workshop organized at held at Dilashaini Rural Municipality. The workshop focused to teach the participants mainly about the health and sanitation during menstruation. Description: Screenshot 2020-09-13 16The participants were encouraged to share their experiences, forming the groups to make the involvement livelier. Women shared heart touching stories about their struggles they had faced during their lives. During the workshop, women shared personal stories about how discrimination, indignity and social taboos in relation to menstruation impacted their lives. The stories comprised of both their self-habit and the tradition of their families.
After the workshop, the participants realized the importance of hygiene and also they agreed to improve the wrong practices and behavior so they can feel more comfortable at home.
“We have to abandon the myths around menstrual behavior and improve hygienic                      behavior on sanitation to create the model community that we need to improve our lives”. – The common voice of the participants.
The women were happy to get through the project access to improved WASH facilities at house hold level. All women also observed real changes in their own behavior compared to 15 years ago. This made it easier for the older generation to support changes to the harmful menstruation habits and reduce gender based discrimination.
Impact / moral of the story:
Mother – in – Law Vs Daughter – in Law are the major groups in the society, that the project found and intervened the awareness as well as capacity building activities. The issues were addressed and the bad practices were suddenly decreased improving the behavior level, especially in Menstrual Hygiene Management aspects. Description: D:\RVWRMP-III\Photo\LF Lok bahadur Khati\IMG_20181102_141800.jpgTransforming Conventional Millet Farms to High Profit Commercial Vegetable Production Description: C:\Users\dell\Desktop\New folder\IMG_20190430_190146.jpgLok Bahadur Khati, a permanent resident of Sayal Rural Municipality-5 shared his story of changing his living standard through agriculture. The land in the village, where millet was only the crop produced, has now been replaced with poly houses for vegetable farming. “I was surrounded with poverty, illiteracy and unemployment, so I went to India at the age of 17 to earn a living” said Lok Bahadur.  In 2070 BS Lok Bahadur returned from India and got involved in agriculture. However, the commercial farming of vegetables was difficult because of lack of irrigation. Even the villagers were deprived of safe drinking water. In this situation, Lok Bahadur planned to return to India again.
Description: C:\Users\Dell\Desktop\Picutures from districts for CASE STUDy\Doti\Sayal _link pic\IMG_20181102_141656.jpgDescription: C:\Users\dell\Desktop\New folder\IMG_20190430_182359.jpgIn the meantime, Lok Bahadur heard about RVWRMP launching in Sayal RM Doti district and he got the opportunity to work as a Village Maintenance Worker (VMW) and then he got involved with Bhubneshori Home Garden (HG) groups. He received HG training and started commercial vegetable farming in a poly house supported by the project. Now his HG group has 27 members and all of them have started vegetable farming, managing farmyard manure, vermiculture, producing vegetables and spices and using bio-pesticides.
In the KoteliDharmi village eight farmers have 10 poly houses which are used for commercial tomato production. Before they used to grow green leaves, coriander and onions but the harvest was frequently uncertain due to a lack of irrigation. After the completion of the DWS, they have been using wastewater for vegetable farming and earning money from the sale of vegetables. Description: E:\GPU_Working_2075\RVWRMP_Phase III_Working\Sayal_RVWRMP_Working\Photos_2075\Chaitra_Photo\20190324_175053.jpgIn addition to this, 10 poly houses were built for commercial vegetable     production and the learning is increasing among other farmers also. Also, the project is supporting to protect the production from insects using insect net and plastic mulching.
This commercial farming has contributed in earnings of around 75-80,000 per year. Also, they are supported to construct dish washing platforms, drying racks, training on hygiene and sanitation, improved cooking stoves and farmyard management. The farmers have a plan to declare the village a total sanitised ward of Sayal RM, Doti. A conventional millet farm with a very small possibility of income generation has been changed into a high profit commercial vegetable production operation.  Farmers need to realise the importance of commercial farming for food security, nutrition, income generation and sustainable development.
Description: E:\A1_RVWRMP_2075-076_Working\Photo\Ashad_2076\20190704_081143.jpgDescription: C:\Users\Dell\Desktop\Picutures from districts for CASE STUDy\Doti\Sayal _link pic\IMG_20181102_141239.jpgMr. Gobardhan Joshi, the chief of the agriculture section of Sayal RM said: “The poly house cluster has taught them the skills to grow vegetables for commercial production, which can serve as an example for other villages/clusters of the RM.This joint effort has been fruitful and so I wish for a continuation of the joint collaboration between the RM and project.”
Impact / moral of the story:
Due to the availability of water there has been a paradigm shift on the farming modality, that is the traditional farming has been shifted to cash crops. Small volume of water can be managed in the productive use of water through the intervention of modern technology such as drip irrigation and poly-house. The lifestyle and economic improvement has been seen at significant level. Other success stories can be referred in :
Major issues/challenges in implementation of the project and efforts made to address the issuesMajor issues/challenges: The project had to go through a long process of staff reshuffling and recruitment due to new political structure of the country. Clearance on audit process was delayed because of unclear policies and acts. The COVID-19 pandemic situation delayed the project activities by restricting the movement of staffs and the gathering. Efforts made to address the issues: Briefing about the project and its guidelines and documents to relevant staff. Project provided additional technical human resources to support the RMs to implement the Project. Update about the situation and activated the mobility in safe area with close coordination among project, local levels, district administration and SOs.