NeAs – Towards arsenic safe drinking water in Nepal
The aim of NeAs –project is to improve the capacity of the water sector in Nepal to seak, share and use the information and know-how on arsenic content in groundwater and reduction of arsenic in drinking water. The Department of Water Supply and Sewerage Management (DWSSM) under the Ministry of Water Supply is responsible for ensuring safe water services nationwide in Nepal so the immediate goal of the project is the improved capacity of DWSSM to guide and support the water supply actors in arsenic mitigation. DWSSM has started to implement the arsenic mitigation programme, which has many challenges.
Arsenic contamination of groundwater is an environmental health problem in several regions affecting a large number of people, especially in developing countries. In Asian countries unsafe arsenic levels are posing health risk for an estimated 65 million people. In Nepal, the arsenic in groundwater is mainly from geological origin. Especially in Terai region arsenic poses a significant risk to groundwater quality and thus to public health. Nawalparasi distric in Terai region is a pilot area for NeAs –project. The most important action in affected communities is the prevention of further exposure to arsenic by provision of a safe water supply.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland is funding the project via ICI instrument. The project is implemented in cooperation between GTK, SYKE (The Finnish Environment Institute) and DWSSM (Department of Water Supply and Sanitation Management).