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Monitoring of Melamchi Water Supply Project


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. <Kathmandu Post>

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.

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Contact Person: Yuki TANABE

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