Oxfam organized a one-day “National Workshop on Alternative Management Model Project and Rural Water Supply Management Board Modality”. The workshop was conducted to share learnings and achievements of Alternative Management Model (AMM) project – a project focused on strengthening water supply management. Minister for Water Supply and Sanitation, Mahendra Ray Yadav was the chief guest of the event.
Oxfam, Rural Development Center Nepal (RDC), Bagmati Welfare Society Nepal (BWSN), and Forum for Community Upliftment System (FOCUS) Nepal in collaboration with local governments have been implementing Alternative Management Model (AMM) project since 2019 in four municipalities of two provinces. The Rural/municipalities are Rajpur Municipality in Rautahat, Haripur Municipality in Sarlahi districts of Madhesh Province and Benighat Rorang Rural Municipality and Jwalamukhi Rural Municipality of Dhading district of Bagmati Province. The project offers an innovative water supply management model that ensures rural water supply systems are sustainable and financially viable to increase access to community people. It was designed based on the results of 3 years of Oxfam’s research, groundwork. and collaboration with partners and local/national government.
The event included presentation about the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Management Board Model. Five years business plan including scientific tariff setting prepared by the Rural Water Supply Management Board and promotion of co-financing with municipalities was also highlighted.
A booklet “WATER SUPPLY SYSTEM IN NEPAL: HOW TO BUILD BETTER, MORE SUSTAINABLE SERVICES? -II” was launched by Hon’ble Minister Mr. Mahindra Roy Yadav. The booklet was published by Oxfam.
Minister for Water Supply and Sanitation, Mahendra Ray Yadav shared, “Every individual should have access to water. Right now, very less people have access to safe drinking water. Many plans and policies are in place to ensure one house one tap across seven provinces. However, various challenges plague the achievement of this goal including improper finance mechanism and technical shortcomings. We will soon conduct a meeting with development agencies and move ahead collaboratively to develop this sector.”
“The Board Model established by Oxfam for Water Supply Management in four municipalities is commendable. We will continue to support such initiatives of Oxfam in future,” added the Minister.
Local government representatives and board representatives too appreciated contribution of Oxfam towards access to safe water for the public. Some of the problems faced by Terai region includes arsenic contamination in drinking water and handpumps drying up because of climate change while in the hilly parts of Nepal water sources are drying up.
The workshop included presentations from Diyalo technologies Pvt. Ltd. and on online platform for meter reading, billing and account management and Nepal Digital Payments Company (NDPC) on the use of digital platform for tariff collection even in no-internet areas with the use of offline mobile telecommunication channels.
Improved financing mechanisms and leverage options were also presented by Dr. Rajit Ojha, Senior Divisional Engineer, Department of Water Supply and Sewerage Management during the workshop along with key performance indicators to regulate WASH services which was presented by Prabhat Shrestha, Divisional Engineer, Ministry of water Supply.
Similarly, Nibha Shrestha, Oxfam’s Acting Country Director mentioned, "Looking back at the work done in the sector in the past 6 years, we have managed drinking water through the Board model at the local level. This has also led to the adoption of the Board model in the recently approved Section 6.2 (Cha) of WASH policy. It is our understanding that we have advocated for the recognition of an alternative management model.”
The event was attended more than 100 participants including representatives from local, provincial and federal government, Department of Water Supply and Sewerage Management, Water Users, Non-Governmental organizations, Donor agencies, Development Agencies, WASH sector experts and academicians, researchers, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Management Boards and media.
Oxfam has been supporting the people of Nepal since 1980s through various development, humanitarian, and influencing projects. We have 3 integrated programmes viz Gender Justice, Resilience and Climate Justice, and WASH and Water Governance.