28.5 M
Total population in the country


46 %
Population with access to safely managed and basic service sanitation

drinking water

88 %
Population with access to safely managed and basic service drinking water

child mortality

Diarrhea related under age 5 mortality rate number/1,000 live births

Drinking Water Results

35.0 K
People Gaining Access to Improved Drinking Water due to USG Assistance (FY 2008 - 2016)*

Sanitation Results

7.3 K
People Gaining Access to Improved Sanitation due to USG Assistance (FY 2008 - 2016)*

USAID Region



Nepal remains one of the poorest countries in the world. It is highly vulnerable to climate instability, struggling with both water scarcity in some areas and increased flooding in others. As of 2015, only 27 percent of the population had access to safely managed water, a slight (3 percent) improvement from 2000. Basic sanitation remains low throughout the country, though it did improve in rural areas from 16 percent in 2000 to 45 percent in 2015, and in urban areas from 42 percent to 52 percent in the same time period,

Nepal’s geography includes lowland plateaus with abundant water resources, though they are often stressed during long dry spells in Kathmandu Valley when drinking water is limited. In addition, rising temperatures are accelerating glacier melt in the Himalayas, increasing flooding and ultimately decreasing river flow and freshwater resources.

USAID works in rural communities to improve sanitation, promote hygiene behavior, increase access to safe drinking water, and improve local governance and maintenance of WASH facilities. USAID is also working with 54 selected schools to improve WASH via a school-led total sanitation approach that not only improves sanitation in these facilities, but also promotes small-scale household water treatment systems in the homes where the students and teachers live. As a result of activities in FY 2016, 2,230 people gained access to improved drinking water services.

USAID continues to support recovery efforts from the devastating 2015 earthquake, which damaged water supply systems and public infrastructure. USAID works in two earthquake-affected districts to increase sustainable access to safe drinking water, improve sanitation through promotion of proper hygiene and construction of public toilets, and heighten awareness of menstrual hygiene through school programs.

Source: USAID Development Experience Clearing House (DEC) and specific water activity websites.  The funding level and start/end date shown here reflect the information available via the DEC or activity website at the time the activity was added to Globalwaters.org

*Includes access to both basic and safely managed services