Improving health in rural Nepal through increasing rural access to water, improved sanitation and biogas fuel

Jhal Kumari Sapkota

Jhal Kumari Sapkota with the biogas digester

Title Improving health in rural Nepal through increasing rural access to water, improved sanitation and biogas fuel
Description Many people in rural Nepal still lack access to safe water and sanitation facilities. Through biogas and drinking water supply, health, living standards and quality of life have dramatically improved.
Status Completed
Dates Start: March 2013; End: June 2014
Implementing partner Multipurpose Community Development Service (MCDS). Funded by Guernsey Overseas Aid Commission.
Location Kavre district, Nepal
Sector Water and Sanitation


Project location

Project location

Despite progress made in recent years, 5 million people in Nepal still lack access to safe water and 20 million people lack access to sanitation facilities. The problem is especially severe in rural regions which contain some of the poorest areas in the country. The government of Nepal has an ambitious vision for universal access to water and sanitation by 2017, as set out in the national poverty reduction strategy, but this is unlikely to be achieved without considerable additional investment.

A survey of water and sanitation infrastructure within the focus area in Kavre district found that 66% of households had no toilet and used nearby facilities, forests or rivers for defecation. Furthermore 30% had limited access to drinking water with up to 1 hour’s walk to the source. During Participatory Rural Appraisal sessions, community members also requested assistance in constructing biogas plants as villagers were aware of the multiple benefits of biogas.


The Multipurpose Community Development Service (MCDS) has been carrying out community development projects in Nepal since 1994. MCDS is well known and respected in the region and has many years of experience of working in remote hill communities.

This project was funded by the Guernsey Overseas Aid Commission (GOAC). Established in 2004 the GOAC supports projects through Grant Aid Funding or Disaster Emergency Relief Funding located in areas of greatest need within the developing world.


Fitting a water pump

Fitting a water pump

Cyan supported a biogas and DWS (drinking water supply) project planned by MCDS. Meetings were conducted with the village development committee (VDC) and biogas users, and visits were made to the Biogas company to plan and agree a partnership. A total of 64 biogas plants were constructed impacting 407 direct beneficiaries, with follow up visits and monitoring carried out once a month by MCDS staff.

The DWS component of the project attained 1,429 direct beneficiaries. Activities involved organising a meeting with DWS User’s Committee, installing 13 intakes, 9 reservoir tanks, 38 tap constructions, 1 collection chamber and 3 pumping machines and providing 3 days of training for 6 masons in how to preserve, repair and maintain structures.

Due to an underspend of project fund, additional activities were approved and carried out. A drinking water supply to 241 beneficiaries was assembled by constructing 1 collection chamber and installing 1 pumping machine. In the primary school of this village, 2 toilets and a Polytank of 1,000 litres and 3 taps to access drinking water was constructed benefiting 57 children.


2013-080 Final report MCDS Cyan GOAC

Man Narayan Shrestha, president of Ranikot Drinking Water Users’ Committee, with the new drinking water supply

Through the planning and construction of the biogas plants and DWW, these activities have empowered the community towards a sustainable means of improving health and quality of life contributing to Millennium Development Goal 7. There has been indicative evidence from beneficiary interviews that health and education have been improving.

The production of use of biogas to replace polluting fuels for cooking has improved the household environment. A reduction in time spent gathering wood fuel and water has resulted in women and girls spending more time studying. The trained masons carry out regular maintenance and repair, if needed, on the structures avoiding the community’s reliance on external technicians.Through the inclusive process of the project the community expressed s strong sense of ownership giving them confidence in the sustainability of the project.

The additional approved DWS projects in the village has reduced the hardship of fetching water for daily usage and feeding cattle. In the school, having access to DWS and 2 toilets has ensured security and reduced shame.

Case Study: Jhal Kumari Sapkota

Jhal Kumari Sapkota

Jhal Kumari Sapkota

with the biogas digester

“My name is Jhal Kumari Sapkota. I live in Sillinge Dada Tole of Rayale VDC, Ward No.2. I am a farmer by profession. I heard that MCDS is providing support for Biogas construction.  I convinced my son to construct Biogas and invest some portion on our own.
It was really a golden opportunity for poor people like us to receive support from MCDS and Biogas Company for the construction.
The construction has brought many positive changes in my family as well as my community. The hardship in collecting firewood no more exists. To cook food on biogas has been very easy for the old age people like me and also we now are safe from the side effects of smoke from the firewood.
My children have started utilizing the time spent for the collection of firewood on productive works. I feel so good to see my daughter in law preparing food so easily. I on behalf of my family members want to thank MCDS.”

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