A Nepalese water sector project funded by Finland has been announced as the winner of an annual competition organised by the Finnish Project Management Association. The winning project forms part of Finland’s bilateral development cooperation with Nepal and was delivered by Finnish consulting group FCG International.
The project’s formal title is the Rural Village Water Resources Management Project, and the award is directed at the second phase of the project. It ran between September 2010 and February 2016 across ten counties in Nepal. The project’s first phase was launched in 2006.
Western Nepal, where the project is based, suffers from high levels of poverty and few other international development organisations work in the area. The project was set up to promote well-being and reduce poverty through the introduction of sustainable water management practices.
Overall, the project was made up of three parts, comprising rural water management and sanitation, economic development and supporting the work of local public authorities and stakeholder committees.
The total budget was EUR 26.1 million, of which Finland contributed EUR 15.5 million. Thanks to the excellent outcomes, the project will continue into its third phase and is expected to conclude in 2021.
In its statement, the Project of the Year jury praised the Nepalese project for its outstanding success, especially as it was delivered in challenging circumstances, without electricity or telephone access.
In addition, the project team had to address significant cultural differences and a wide range of stakeholder groups. Despite these challenges, the project significantly exceeded its original targets, delivering potable water for 144,000 people in remote communities and improving sanitation for 360,000 people. The jury also praised the project team’s approach to communication.
The project’s success was in part due to the product it promoted. Clean water is an important Finnish export.
Finland has been supporting Nepal in the areas of water and sanitation since 1990.
The Finnish Project Management Association’s annual Project of the Year prize has been set up to draw attention to the most successful and impactful projects. The winners are announced at the association’s Projektipäivät event.