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Nepal is rapidly urbanizing – the urban population is estimated to have increased to 40% from 17% in 2011, and is projected to reach 50% of the total population by 2030. This has a significant bearing on governance, programming and management for urban WASH services.
The Government of Nepal as been providing water supply and sanitation services in small towns. The small towns are defined as as towns that have

  • (i) a population of 5,000 to 40,000, and
  • (ii) perennial access to roads, grid power, telecommunications – i.e, potential for growth.
In line with the 15-Year Development Plan (first prepared in 2009 and updated in 2015) for Water Supply and Sanitation in Small Towns, Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been supporting the Government of Nepal in enhancing water and sanitation services in small towns since 2001. While the first Small Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Project was implemented in 29 towns, a total of 21 small towns are being supported through the second Project.

Drawing experience from these projects, the Third Small Towns Water and Sanitation Sector Project is being implemented in upto 26 towns. The Project components include:

  • Inclusive and sustainable water and sanitation service delivery of medium/high standards;
  • Strengthened sector policy, regulatory and institutional capacity; and
  • Improved project management.