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NEPAL


SECTOR: WATER AND SANITATION PROJECT NAME: KATHMANDU VALLEY WASTEWATER MANAGEMENT FINANCING TYPE: PUBLIC SECTOR LOAN (2014, ONGOING) PARTNERS: NEPAL’S MINISTRY OF URBAN DEVELOPMENT, ADB SITE VISITS: GUJESHWORI TREATMENT PLANT / PASHUPATINATH TEMPLE / PATAN DURBAR SQUARE


Kathmandu Valley is the nerve center of Nepal’s economic activity and its primary gateway for finance, trade, tourism and real estate development. This project aims to improve the overall quality of life and health of residents with a multidimensional approach: rehabilitating and expanding sewerage networks, cleaning some 56 km of sewer blockage, constructing and / or improving five wastewater treatment plants, and building local knowledge and capacity. Mahesh Bhattarai (below), General Manager of the state-owned Kathmandu Valley Water Supply and Sanitation Utility (KUKL), outlined its two-fold challenge. One is that KUKL is currently only able to supply around one-third of the water required by the area’s four million residents. Residents therefore rely on groundwater or water supplied by tanker trucks to meet their daily needs. Neither option is ideal as areas not yet connected to the sewerage system risk contamination from household septic


16


tanks and other run-off. Existing sewerage networks are also prone to


leakage due to their age. The planned network upgrades and expansion will significantly reduce the chance of waterborne diseases, improve the city’s aesthetic and help it develop economically, predicted Bhattarai. He also stressed the importance of knowledge- sharing between external contractors and local staff working to build wastewater treatment facilities. “They’ll work together for five to 10 years,” said Bhattarai. “We hope to transfer the technology within this period of time and gain sufficient human resources to ensure the sustainability of treatment facilities.” We visited one of the facilities


currently under construction. Located in the heart of the city, the Gujeshwori Waste Water Treatment Plant will serve some 400,000 neighboring residents and help ensure that clean water flows past Pashupatinath Temple, a Hindu complex for


centuries on the banks of the Bagmati River. Gujeshwori’s Project Manager, Surat Kumar


Bam (above right), pointed out several key features designed to ensure that the treatment plant services local needs: it is expected to process an average capacity of 32.4 million liters per day and will operate without odor; it will also meet stringent water quality requirements and use energy generated during some of its own processes to improve efficiency and save on energy costs. Bam explained that the city’s intermittent power supply could cause pumps at existing treatment facilities to stop working, resulting in the release of contaminated waste into public water in the past.


“We hope to transfer the technology and gain sufficient human resources to ensure the sustainability of treatment facilities”


Mahesh Bhattarai


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