Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation Projects when Clinic Nepal began in 1997 over 50% of patients had water borne diseases. Today that figure stands at only 1%.
In Nepal the majority of the population live in a rural setting. Often water sources are a river, mountain spring or well. While those villages living in high mountains may have access to cleaner water than those downstream, open sources of water are never completely free of dangerous bacteria. In the lowland Terai area, where Clinic Nepal is situated, drinking water comes mainly from the ground. Traditionally open wells are used, with the risk of contamination from animal and human waste high. The other option of river water usual means much time is spent by women and girls collecting water from far way.
Sanitary toilets or latrines, are still, unfortunately, extremely rare in the majority of the country. With many people defecating in the open, the risk of contamination is again very high, especially for children, the sick and elderly. In this area, risk of attack by wild animals was also present.
Hari Bhandary, the founder and chairman of Clinic Nepal, had always recognised these problems and had long had the desire to introduce clean drinking water and sanitation to improve the health of his neighbours. <click to history> Once the Friendship Clinic was established, the next step was therefore obvious – a clean drinking water project and hygienic sanitation facilities for all.