Rural Village Water Resources Management Project
Improving livelihoods in Sudurpashchim and Karnali Provinces in Nepal
Where We Work
The Project operates in hill and mountain areas of Sudurpaschim and Karnali Provinces. In Sudurpaschim, RVWRMP works in 8 Districts: Achham, Baitadi, Bajhang, Bajura, Dadeldhura, Darchula, Doti and Kailali. In Karnali Province, the project operates in 2 Districts: Dailekh and Humla. The working area covers all of the hilly and mountainous Municipalities in the working Districts (see the map below). The headquarters, the Project Support Unit, is located in Amargadhi-5, Dadeldhura, and all the 10 working Districts have Technical Support Unit offices.
RVWRMP is in the frontline in co-working with the new Municipalities, or Gaonpalikas, that have been the primary partners of the project since their establishment in 2017. The project has 27 core partner Rural Municipalities where the full set of project activities and sectoral planning support are available, and dozens of other working municipalities where the work is based on local proposals. The 27 core municipalities have Rural Municipality Support Units, and NGO-based Support Organisations, that provide support to the municipalities in the whole project working area.
Conditions in the Project Area
Sudurpaschim and Karnali Provinces are the poorest and driest regions in Nepal, including also the country's most remote districts that remain without a road access. The coverage of basic drinking water and sanitation is below the national average: women walk long distances to fetch water and open defecation has been common in the area. The main sources of livelihoods are small-scale subsistence farming combined with livestock breeding and collection of materials like nuts, seeds, mushroom and foliage from the forests.
The area is ecologically fragile. Water source depletion and related conflicts are an increasing problem, combined with the increasing demand of water resources for the households and livelihoods. Common hazards include land slides, floods, droughts, and other extreme weather events.
Food insufficiency is evident in the area. Poor nutritional status of women, lack of skilled attendants during delivery and general lack of access to health services contribute to the high maternal and infant death rates. Women’s low educational level has a major impact on health and nutritional status and mortality. Health care and access to services is poor in the hill and mountain due to deficient infrastructure development. Quality of service suffers due to chronic lack of medical personnel, equipment and medicines. Poor sanitation and access to clean water, poor nutritional standard and low awareness level contribute to ill health and high infant mortality.
Social discrimination based on ethnicity and caste plays a significant role in keeping people poor and marginalised. Most of the landless households are Dalits, Janajatis and other marginalised groups. Many rural women live in extreme poverty, without any means of improving conditions for themselves and their households. At the same time, women are increasingly heading households, due to men migrating for work, and taking on the burden of sustaining livelihoods and the rural economy.