Nepal is highly vulnerable to climate instability, struggling with both water scarcity in some areas and increased flooding in others. Only 27 percent of the population has access to safely managed water, a slight (3 percent) improvement from 2000. Access to safely managed sanitation remains low throughout the country, though 62 percent of people have access to at least basic sanitation services.
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 activities also aim to strengthen the resilience of certain communities in western Nepal to adapt to the negative effects of climate change through improved water resource management.