The aim of Melamchi Water Supply Project is to solve the
water crisis in Kathmandu, Nepal, for which ADB or JBIC etc.
are financing the construction of a 26 km long aqueduct tunnel
from Melamchi River. But the local residents and NGOs are
raising their voices against the threat of destruction of
the environment, and the effects on farming, fishing etc.
due to mass water intake involved. To avoid or minimize environmentally
and socially negative impacts arising from this project, JACSES
is working to strengthen monitoring and advocacy activities.
Melamchi Water Supply Project, latest news update
(April 12, 2006)
Due to concerns about the serious human rights situation of
Nepal International financers withdraw one after the other.
Feeling seriously concerned about the human rights situation
in Nepal, financers are withdrawing from the project one after
the other. Ever since the King dissolved the National assembly
in Feb 2005 in a mandatory way, the dispute with Maoists has
intensified. Restrictions have been imposed on reporting,
communication and traveling. Also politicians and activists
are being arrested. As a result, in July 2006, Norway withdrew
its funding stating serious human rights violations. In April
2006, Sweden also withdrew its funding.
The aim of Melamchi Water Supply Project is to construct
a 26 km long aqueduct tunnel and a filteration plant and to
privatize Kathmandu`s water management. In the total budget
of $4.64 billion, ADB is funding $1.2 billion and the Japanese
Govt. is funding Yen equivalent of $52 million through JBIC.
With the withdrawal of funding from Norway and Sweden, there
will be budget deficit of $50 million.
This project is very huge for Nepal, as its budget reaches
almost half of Nepal`s national budget of $9 million. In this
troubling scenario, there is another problem ? excessive concentration
of investment in public works for Kathmandu. Once the construction
of the aqueduct is completed, the local residents are apprehensive
about the mass water intake from Melamchi River, and its effects
on farming, fisheries etc. Therefore, ADB, JBIC and other
financers need to withdraw their funding.
Contact Person: Yuki