Nepal has made significant progress in the last decade and has recently met its MDG commitments by increasing access to sanitation to 62 per cent and water supply to 85 per cent. The country is now working to achieve universal access in both sanitation and water supply by 2017.
However, Nepalese children particularly those under 5 years of age still face multiple obstacles to survival and development. Exposure to infectious diseases, malnutrition, and poor hygiene and sanitation compromise early childhood development. These deaths are intricately linked to safe drinking water and proper sanitation hygiene. Diarrhoea continues to be a major cause of childhood morbidity and mortality in Nepal, and every year claims the lives of 2100 children under 5.
Over four million people do not have access to improved drinking water and approximately nine million Nepalese still defecate in the open.