Development cooperation ,02.04.2020

Towards Arsenic Safe Groundwater in Nepal


The presence of arsenic in groundwater is a common problem affecting the quality of drinking water on the plateaus of Nepal. Using water containing arsenic as drinking water, in cooking, or irrigation may cause a plethora of health issues, even cancer. In Nepal, the work to reduce the levels of arsenic is fragmentary and lacking in cooperation and coordination between local officials. In addition, knowledge about the health hazards of arsenic among the consumers of contaminated water is scarce. The Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) and the Finnish Environment Institute’s (SYKE) shared project will strengthen coordination, the sharing of information, and cooperation between agents in different fields, who have for now worked in silos. The Department of Water Supply and Sewerage Management (DWSSM), whose responsibility is water quality, will implement the Project as a partner organization. The immediate goal of the Project is to improve the partner organization’s capacity to guide and support stakeholders in the field of water management to prevent and reduce the prevalence and use of water contaminated by arsenic. The goal for the first output area is to strengthen the knowledge-based instruction of the DWSSM on diminishing of the presence of arsenic. This is attainable by enhancing the flow of information between different stakeholders, developing effective processes for the handling of information, as well as increasing the understanding of how geological conditions affect the quality of the water in Nepal. The second output area focuses on the DWSSM’s ability to use and adapt geological and hydrogeological research regarding the arsenic problem in ground water as a base for decision making. The third output area is to improve their tracking of arsenic levels and the practices of analysis of the data. Tighter cooperation and interaction between the DWSSM and stakeholders is also one of the output areas of the project. During the project, a public communications plan on the arsenic issue will be developed for the department.

Funding decision  02.04.2020

1 000 000 €

Objectives monitored by OECD's Development Assistance Committee

  • Participatory development/Good governance
  • Aid to environment
  • Climate change - adaptation

Field of activity

  • Water resources conservation (including data collection) 38%
  • Water sector policy and administrative management 37%
  • Health education 25%

Funding channel

  • Suomen ympäristökeskus
  • Geologian tutkimuskeskus



Code for the object of funding