Safe WASH II | 2014–2019
Chhaupadi is an ancient system of taboos surrounding menstruating women in Nepal. In several districts in rural Nepal, tradition holds that if chhaupadi is not observed, crops will wither, wells will dry up, and illness will strike the family. Even though the more stringent practices of chhaupadi were outlawed in 2005, they persist in the far west of the country. Under these practices, women and girls must sleep in a chhau goth or menstrual hut during menses where they are exposed to cold in the winter and snakebites in the summer. Because they are considered unclean, they are also forbidden from using the family toilet during their period so they have to defecate in the open.
USAID’s Safe WASH II project has a broad goal of improving sanitation and hygiene behaviors in four western districts— Kailali, Kanchanpur, Darchula, and Achham— including reducing the negative aspects of chhaupadi.
This project profile appears in the USAID Global Water and Development Report.