Promoting Social Entrepreneurship 

for Safe Drinking Water in the Lowlands of Nepal


Our Goal

This project aims to improve access to safe drinking water for schools and households in the lowlands of Nepal. The project was designed as a pilot phase, where a two-pronged intervention is being implemented, with one part focusing on improving water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) conditions in primary schools, whereas the other part is designed to strengthen local entrepreneurs in providing solutions to households surrounding the schools. The pilot phase ended in March 2024 and a second phase was initiated in May 2024.

Project Profile

The model of this project combines impact interventions with market-based mechanisms to promote behavior change, enabling both the schools and the community to reinforce each other’s actions and strengthen the demand for and impact of safe water. In partnership with SmartPaani, this project implements state-of-the-art WASH systems and technologies, including a filter technology to remove micro-organisms and heavy metals such as arsenic from water sources, newly developed and tested by BluAct Technologies, a spin-off company of ETH Zurich.

Within the framework of this project, the interventions are organised around the school communities. A robust and low-maintenance safe drinking water system is installed in the school, and teachers and students participate in WASH trainings and form WASH clubs to promote the practice of the newly learnt hygiene concepts. Parents and community members also participate in WASH workshops, where they get to know the health benefits of the system installed in the school and receive information about household solutions available from local providers. This reinforces the health benefits for the students and their families and fosters the local economy. The sustainability of the intervention is ensured with a 5-year maintenance of the systems installed in the schools.

In the long term, the project aims to decrease school absenteeism and increase the productivity of adult household members. The expected outcome is to have improved water quality and WASH habits in both schools and households, leading to a healthier and more prosperous community.



Lowlands of Nepal, Province No 2, Surkhet District, Nepal


Pilot Phase: 2023-2024
Current Phase: 2024-2025



Key Services Provided

  • Installation of improved WASH installations (FilterPlus model) in schools

  • Capacity building

  • Community events and promotion of safe drinking water and water filters

  • Monitoring and maintenance support


Karla Schlie, Project Manager

Achievements of the Pilot Phase


people in the schools, including staff and students, have gained access to reliable, safe drinking water and improved WASH habits


people have gained awareness of household water filtration


schools have newly installed water filtration systems


local entrepreneurs were trained

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