Project Description

First Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project (RWSSP-I)

Total Project Cost

US$ 21.25 million


US$18.28 million credit


US$0.67 million


US$2.30 million

Project Duration

1997 - 2003


75 districts

Target Population

0.5 million rural inhabitant

Over half of project beneficiaries would be in the poverty group.

Target Schemes


Sector/ Sub-Sector

Water supply (27%); Sanitation (27%); Central government administration (25%);  Other social services (14%); Health (7%)


Rural services and infrastructure; Pollution management and environmental health; Decentralization; Administrative and civil service reform; Gender

Project Objective

To raise living standards in rural areas of Nepal by delivering sustainable health and hygiene benefits to the rural population through improvements in water supply and sanitation

Project Components

  1. Establishment and operation of the Nepal Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Fund Development Board.

(US$ 4.98 million, 23%)

  1. Selection and construction of water supply and sanitation schemes

(US$ 15.23 million, 72%)

  1. Institutional development and studies

(US$ 1.04 million, 5%)

Role of women

  • At least two women members in WSUC
  • Health and sanitation and Nonformal education activities will focus on women
  • WTSS program will provide skill and management training to increase scope of IGA, and access to formal credit system.
  • Encourage women to form female tapstand groups
  • Selection of female scheme maintenance workers encouraged
  • Train women on O&M, including collection of fees, monitoring and reporting.

Innovative approaches

  • Technical support services to women to allow them to make productive use of the time saved.
  • Target: 945 WTSS groups


Schemes Completed

  • 945 in four batches (I – IV) by 129 SOs. (Including retroactive 45 schemes)

WSUGs and WSUCs formed

  • 945
  • 3 out of 11 WSUC members are female.

Beneficiaries served

  • 726,500
  • Female beneficiaries account for 50% of total project beneficiaries.

Healthy home surveys

  • Were carried out in all the scheme sites

Health and hygiene education sessions

  • Over 6,200 organized for communities

Village Health Promoters recruited and trained

  •  1,004 women

Village Maintenance Workers recruited and trained

  • 979

NFE class graduates

  • 16,600 women

Latrines constructed

  • 45739
    • SRLF: 22178
    • Self Help: 23561


  • 1366 groups formed with 49,114 women involvement.
  • FB Grant: NRs.  8,964,400 and Group Savings: NRs.  1,976,056.

Jeevika Committees

  • N/A

Jagaran Committees

  • N/A


  • Demanddriven approach works quite successfully.
  • Communities’ full participation enhanced sense of ownership. The participatory approach motivated communities to be responsible for O&M and tariff collection key factors to long-term scheme sustainability.
  • Female participation was actively encouraged and has contributed to enhanced empowerment of women.
  • It pays to try innovative ways of delivering infrastructure services. The project design was replicated in India, starting with the Swajal project in Uttar Pradesh.
  • There is a need to of effective planning and M&E mechanisms, with an efficient MIS system in place from the beginning of a project.
  •  To scale up the demanddriven approach to service delivery, it is important that the implementing entity does not become dependent on IDA/donor financing.
  • There is a need to ensure followup support to communities and NGOs in case of natural calamities.
  • Given the SOs' high involvement in mobilizing and guiding the communities, it is crucial to pay strong attention to the selection and training of the SOs.