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ADB Addresses Nepal’s Long-awaited Water Crisis

This 26-km tunnel will supply water from the Melamchi river to the residents of the Kathmandu valley, who have been suffering a severe water shortage

ADB Addresses Nepal’s Long-awaited Water Crisis

In a milestone achievement this year, Kathmandu has successfully completed the excavation of Nepal’s longest tunnel on April 12, 2018.

This 26-km tunnel will supply water from the Melamchi river to the residents of the Kathmandu valley, who have been suffering a severe water shortage in the region.

The initiative is coming after a reported loss of about 40% of the 100 million liters of daily water supply, which was going waste due to leakage.


The scope of the USD 335 million project included building of the tunnel and also the construction of a 29-km access.

adb-nepal-water-projectThe Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Nepal worked hand-in-hand to address this long pending issue.

Within a span of 18 years and with the financial aid of USD 145 million from ADB, the government has brought the project to a promising point in its conception and aims at completing it by early July 2018.

In a joyous breakthrough ceremony, the ADB Director General, Hun Kim said, “I think it is a historic day. Nepal can now tell the outside world that ‘Nepal can do it!’ I think with this kind of spirit, we can overcome any challenges.”

“Today is important because this is the proof that we can work together, and we can deliver. ADB will continue to work with the government until the day when the people in Kathmandu valley get water 24/7,” he added further.

The breakthrough ceremony was also attended by other important dignitaries like the Vice President of Nepal Nanda Bahadur Pun and Minister for Drinking Water Bina Magar.

How can the inhabitants benefit?

With the new development, the customers of Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited will now avail an additional 170 million liters of water per day, by the end of 2018. Moreover, the new system ensures water supply for at least 2-4 hours.

The Roadmap for the Future

ABD has planned to work with the Government of Nepal to incorporate the objectives of the Country Operations Business Plan (COBP) for the year 2017-2019, which focus on:

  • Better road and air transport connectivity, and trade facilitation;
  • Sustainable urban development and assessment of economic corridors to improve linkages with large, fast-growing neighboring countries;
  • Energy sector reforms and investments in generation, transmission, and distribution systems;
  • Upgrading skills and education; and
  • Water resources development and management, and transformation from subsistence to commercial agriculture.

 A Recap of Past Objectives:

ADB had earlier decided to assist the Government of Nepal with its development objective of accelerated, sustainable, inclusive economic growth as per the Country Partnership Strategy for 2013-2017.

The framework of the initiative focused on:

  • The growth in economic opportunities in infrastructure
  • Access to economic opportunities through projects and programs in education which included skills development, water supply and sanitation and rural infrastructure
  • Mainstreaming gender equality and social inclusion and supporting related reforms which would also improve access to basic services
  • Promoting social protection through work on disaster risk management, skills development and knowledge partnerships

On an End Note!

The latest improvement supported by ADB is definitely a solution to one of the long-awaited key infrastructure concerns of the Kathmandu Valley. Hope more such international collaborations will take the country’s infrastructure development to the next level.

 Also read: ADB initiatives for Nepal for 2017-19.

April 25, 2018 |

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