Press release 224/2017
19 December 2017
The European Union has awarded EUR 20 million to a water resources management project implemented by Finland in Nepal. This is the first time the EU has granted support to a Finnish development cooperation project. The water resources management project based in Far-Western Nepal is expected to enhance the management of water resources, improve the health and access to sanitation of local people and ensure better livelihoods and food security in rural areas.
The project’s total budget is EUR 60.2 million, of which Finland will contribute EUR 15 million in 2016–2022. The Nepalese government and end users will contribute a total of EUR 25.2 million. The EUR 20 million of support from the EU will be channelled through Finland.
The project is being implemented in ten districts in two regions. The aim is to improve access to the supply of water and electricity in rural communities and to ensure better food security and livelihood opportunities. Project activities include helping rural communities utilise every drop of water efficiently for various purposes.
In addition to the supply of drinking water, the project supports small-scale irrigation and hydropower systems. Irrigation will help diversify the range of crops grown in domestic gardens and extend the growing season, which will improve farmers’ food security, support a more balanced diet and provide farmers with extra income from the sale of produce. Moreover, project activities will also help communities prepare for catastrophes and climate change.
The first phase of the Rural Village Water Resources Management Project in Far-Western Nepal was launched in 2006 as a bilateral development cooperation project. The current third phase will run until 2022.
The second phase implemented in 2010–2016 was successful. Among other things, it gave 144,000 people in Nepal access to drinking water and improved sanitation for 358,000 people. Small-scale hydropower systems gave 41,000 people access to electricity for the first time ever, irrigation systems helped 28,000 farmers, and 164,000 people set up small gardens, which improved their food security and livelihood and diversified their diet.
The project has also received recognition for its good management. In 2016, it won the Finnish Project Management Association’s annual Project of the Year prize. In 2017, it came second in a project excellence competition organised by the International Project Management Association.
Inquiries: Sanna Takala, Senior Adviser, Development Policy, tel. +358 50 444 9150, Department for the Americas and Asia and Chudamani Joshi, Adviser, Development Cooperation, tel. + 977 980 108 2222, Embassy of Finland, Kathmandu.
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