Last week, WaterLex took an active part in understanding and supporting the momentum in Nepal for implementing the human rights to water and sanitation. While Nepal took a very positive step in integrating HRWS into its constitution, and has close to 90% of households with access to an improved water source, only 27% have access to safely managed services: use of an improved drinking water source which is accessible on premises, free from contamination and available when needed.
WaterLex presented a study on the use of Household water treatment and Safe Storage at the National Workshop, and demonstrated how the integration of governance structures to support these treatments can help to accelerate the introduction and acceptance of the need for safe water. WaterLex is already working with the National Human Rights Institution (NHRC) in Kathmandu through its NHRI Initiative, and was thus able to facilitate a training workshop during the week. This was well attended with 29 representatives from the NHRC, national government and civil society and covered an introduction to the HRWS and SDG 6, and an interactive session to discuss how the recommendations presented could be introduced into the mandate of their various organisations.
From another angle, WaterLex is also supporting the work of the Safe Water Program (FANSA and Antenna Technologies) to strengthen the support for small service providers of Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage, and took the opportunity to further develop the checklist for small water entrepreneurs to enable greater compliance with HRWS. The feedback was very constructive, and included examples of how last year’s checklist has already changed behaviours of some suppliers to include wider consultation for marginalised groups, and has altered thinking in social media approaches. WaterLex felt very welcomed by the Nepalese government, the NHRC, NGOs and local civil society, and looks forward to further work in this country to support the inclusion of HRWS in their governance programmes.