With over 80% of the Himalayan region located in Nepal, over six thousand rivers and tributaries flow throughout the country. From its majestic glaciers in the north to the lowlands of the Terai, Nepal’s rivers enrich its many basins and valleys, supporting 27.8 million Nepalese and providing fertile land for 85 percent of the population who depends on agriculture for subsistence. Nepal’s Himalayan Rivers directly support over 1.4 billion people in South Asia, providing water for drinking, household use, hydro power, irrigation, fishing, industrial, biodiversity, environmental services, and tourism, and supply over 70 percent of the annual flow of the Ganges River in India. However, the rivers in Nepal are threatened by poorly managed development projects, and lack of waste treatment facilities.
However, there are many challenges and opportunities with the rivers that must be balanced by stakeholders to ensure the sustainable future of the water to meet demands. The expectations and aspirations of Nepalese who are being exposed to global lifestyles and the ability to inflict irreversible damage through advancements of technology add to the urgency to take responsibility for our actions and their consequences on the river ecosystems.
To address the challenges and take on the opportunities, and further develop Waterkeepers and Affiliates in Nepal, a regional entity is needed. Currently, there are five Waterkeeper organizations in Nepal: Bagmati River Waterkeeper (2007), Karnali River Waterkeeper (2016), Trishuli River Waterkeeper (2016), SunKoshi River Waterkeeper (2016), and SetiGandaki River Waterkeeper (2016). To build stronger Waterkeepers in Nepal and address the challenges, the five Waterkeepers would like to establish a Waterkeepers Nepal Regional Entity.
Waterkeepers Nepal’s vision is for a greater network of WKOs and Affiliates throughout the country to protect their majestic and globally critical life sustaining Himalayan Rivers. To better organize around the challenges and opportunities, Waterkeepers Nepal would like to form a regional entity, Waterkeepers Nepal.
The main objective of Waterkeepers Nepal is to conduct a river conservation and management awareness program to achieve the best and brightest clean water advocates in the country.
The Specific objectives are as follows:
- To develop and distribute an Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Materials regarding the river conservation such as broachers, pamphlets, flyers, batches, posters, calendar, booklets, etc. to the Schools, colleges, clubs, Government officials, Local communities etc. for the awareness campaign.
- To coordinate the awareness campaigns and provide training on river conservation and management.
- To conduct a workshop along the interaction meeting with all stakeholders for the river conservation.
- To carried out the water quality monitoring for collecting the scientific data and developing scientific database for sustainable management of rivers.
Waterkeepers Nepal ensures that the Nepal’s Waterkeeper Organizations and Affiliates are as connected to each other as they are to their local waters, organizing the fight for clean water into a coordinated movement.