Makwanpur Rural Community Development Project

Project Background

3.5 million Nepali people do not have access to clean water. Many villages still practice open defecation in waterways. And with indoor cooking fires blazing all day long, respiratory and waterborne illnesses—a leading cause of death among children under five—run rampant. Children are often responsible for collecting water, which can involve miles-long hikes up and down steep, dangerous terrain.


From 2021 to 2024, we built critical infrastructure for the first time in history in three of the Makwanpur District’s remote mountain villages: Gopeghari, Deurali and Dhusarang. This work combats disease, addresses food scarcity and is a foundation for education and employment. Finally, it frees children from the burden of hauling water for hours each day.


Project Status: As of 2024, each village has clean drinking water, electricity and biogas toilets. We’re in the process of conducting a needs assessment in nearby villages to build a similar water distribution system, as well as exploring additional infrastructure improvements in our three core villages.

Project Summary

We brought clean water, electricity and biogas toilets to three villages in Makwanpur through a three-phase project, starting in 2021 and concluding in 2024.

Phase 1: Gopeghari
Village Population: 50
In the summer of 2022, we successfully captured and distributed potable water to the village of Gopeghari, sourcing a nearby perennial spring. We constructed a collection tank at the springhead with a submersible pump. A series of reservoir tanks were built throughout the system with a pipeline to bring water to each house. To operate the pump, three-phase power was tied to the main grid.

Phase 2 →
Phase 2: Deurali
Village Population: 215
Next, we focused on Deurali, a village down the hill from both Gophegari and the fresh water source. This section of the water system was powered by gravity, connecting to the existing reservoir tanks up the hillside. Because this village has a larger population and houses are spread farther apart, the team built an 11,000-gallon reservoir tank and ran six miles of additional piping.

Phase 3 →
Phase 3: Dhusarang
Population: 535
Dhusarang is the the largest village of the three and furthest away from the water source. A growing community, it boasts a small elementary school servicing 100+ students from surrounding villages. We expanded our water and electricity system to Dhusarang, building a 10,000-gallon reservoir tank, five more miles of piping, biogas toilets, and water taps.
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Long-Term Sustainability

Our model empowers people at the local level with the tools, skills and resources to sustain and grow their communities in a responsible and reasonable manner. This creates a sense of pride and ownership.

Three components ensure long-term management, maintenance and improvement of the entire system.

The Community Development Committee

Developed by local residents and involved at every stage of the project, this committee collects small monthly contributions from villagers into a fund that’s used for maintenance and repairs.

The Monthly Maintenance Program

A locally trained resident inspects the water system, all the way from the natural spring source to every reservoir and tap along the way, conducting necessary maintenance.

Transferable Skills Training

Due to the remoteness of this area, the project relies on locally trained villagers to identify issues and fix problems as they arise. This allows the communities to become self-reliant when it comes to their resources.

Why Focus on Rural Community Development?

The empowerment of marginalized tribes and cultural preservation is an important driver behind rural community development.

As existential threats such as climate change, natural disasters and globalization encroach on remote communities inhabited by low-caste tribes, residents are forced to leave their village and migrate to urban environments. This places them at risk for exploitation, human trafficking, poverty and discrimination.

We believe these villages need community-driven solutions that will allow them to survive the changing times. Our Makwanpur Rural Community Development Project takes a villager-driven, solutions-based approach essential to the survival of these communities and cultures that are in jeopardy.

Critical infrastructure like water pipes and electricity is the foundation of advancing education, employment and public health in these rural communities.

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