Minister for Water Supply, Mahindra Raya Yadav, has instructed authorities to ensure a convenient and uninterrupted supply of drinking water to consumers in the Lalitpur district.

During a meeting organized by the drinking water struggle committee of Lalitpur Metropolitan City, the minister addressed the issue and urged Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited (KUKL) to promptly distribute Melamchi water to the local residents.

Minister Yadav emphasized that easy access to safe drinking water is a fundamental right of the people, and it is the government’s duty to provide clean water to the population.

According to Nepal Demographic and Health Survey 2022 (published in June 2023), 98% of all Nepalese people have basic access to drinking water, however only an alarming 25% of people use appropriate treatment practices. This leaves 75% of those with access to drinking water vulnerable to water-borne diseases.

Safe drinking water is a major problem in both rural and urban areas of Nepal. In urban areas, squatter settlements are particularly at risk of contaminated drinking water.

In early June 2023, as per the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, tests on samples taken from drinking water sources like tap water, tanker water, tube well water, Melamchi drinking water, and mainly from bottled jar water in Kathmandu showed fecal coliform present in 32.6% of the samples.

Similar tests in 2022 showed fecal coliform and E. coli present in almost 70% of water samples. The provision of safe drinking water with an emphasis on “safe” is still a challenge.