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COUNTRY
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DOCUMENT
2008 - 2009
NEPAL
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Regional Office for Asia-Pacific
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States
2
Excerpts from this publication may be reproduced
without authorisation, on condition that the source is
indicated.
© United Nations Human Settlements Programme
(UN-HABITAT), 2008.
Photo credits: © UN-HABITAT/ Pablo Nicolás Taibi
Cicaré
HS/1059/08E
ISBN: 978-92-1-132030-5 (Series)
ISBN: 978-92-1-132054-1(Volume)
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COUNTRY PROGRAMME DOCUMENT 2008 – 2009 3
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 4
MINISTER 5
SITUATION ANALYSIS 6
National urban policy context 6
Focus area 1: Advocacy, monitoring and partnerships 7
Vulnerability reduction 7
Capacity development 7
Focus area 2: Participatory urban planning, management and governance 8
Urban planning management 8
Urban governance and institutions 8
Slum Upgrading and Prevention 8
Focus area 3: Pro-poor land and housing 9
Land for housing 9
Shelter and basic services 9
Focus area 4: Environmentally sound basic urban infrastructure and services 10
Urban water and sanitation situation 10
Urban sector capacity development needs 11
RECENT AND ON-GOING WORK 12
UN-HABITAT 12
Partners 13
STRATEGY 14
National development goals and priorities 14
UN-HABITAT’s proposed strategy for the sector 16
IMPLEMENTATION ARRANGEMENTS 18
Key principles 18
Information 18
PROGRAMME FRAMEWORK 19
BIBLIOGRAPHY 21
ACRONYMS 21
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 24
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States
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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
In April 2007, the Governing
Council of UN-HABITAT
approved our 2008-2013
Medium-Term Strategic
and Institutional Plan. This
plan intends to promote the
alignment of UN-HABITAT
normative and operational
activities at country level.
The UN-HABITAT Country
Programme Documents (HCPD) are tangible
components of this Plan as well as a genuine
endeavour of UN-HABITAT to better coordinate
normative and operational activities in a consultative
and inclusive process involving UN-HABITAT’s
in-country focal points, UN-HABITAT Programme
Managers, national governments, UN country teams,
sister-UN agencies, development partners and all
divisions of our Agency. The UN-HABITAT Country
Programme Documents are strategic tools meant as
a guide for all UN-HABITAT activities over a two-year
period. A major dimension of the UN-HABITAT Country
Programme Document is to advocate UN-HABITAT’s
mandate and address the urban challenges facing the
world’s developing countries.
The UN-HABITAT Country Programme Documents
identify national urban development goals and
priorities including shelter, urban governance,
access to basic services and credit. Important cross-
cutting issues such as the environment, gender,
responses to disasters, and vulnerability reduction
are also addressed. The UN-HABITAT Country
Programme Documents focus on UN-HABITAT country
programming. They serve as a work plan for UN-
HABITAT Programme Managers and a reference tool
for national and local actors involved in sustainable
urban development. According to the Medium-Term
Strategic and Institutional Action Plan adopted by the
UN-HABITAT Committee of Permanent Representatives
on 6 December 2007, twenty UN-HABITAT Country
Programme Documents were completed during 2008,
including the One-UN Pilot countries where UN-
HABITAT is active.
In line with the United Nations reform process, UN-
HABITAT Country Programme Documents seek to
strengthen the role of the United Nations and to
demonstrate our commitment. I wish to thank our
UN-HABITAT Programme Managers for their input and
dedication and for putting together these documents
under guidance of the Regional and Technical
Cooperation Division and with support from all
branches and programmes of the Agency.
Anna K. Tibaijuka
Executive Director, UN-HABITAT
FOREWORDS
COUNTRY PROGRAMME DOCUMENT 2008 – 2009 5
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MINISTER
Nepal is passing through a
period of unprecedented
political transition. After
the end of the decade long
conflict, the country has
successfully held the election
of Constituent Assembly
followed by the process of
drafting a new constitution
that ensures peace and
institutionalization of the
concept of federal democratic
republic. The present government has a historical
responsibility of drafting a new constitution which
reflects the true aspiration of the people. Similarly,
rehabilitation of the people displaced by the conflict,
reconstruction of damaged infrastructure and the
delivery of peace dividend to the affected people
are equally important responsibilities of the present
government.
Ministry of Physical Planning and Works is committed
to the attainment of Millennium Development Goals,
particularly Target Nos. 10 and 11 which are related
to human settlement sector. The National Shelter
Policy of 1996 is being reviewed in the context of new
political developments and the changing priorities
of the external development partners. Furthermore,
steps have been taken to draft new legislations
to encourage the involvement of private sector
and civil society in housing and human settlement
development.
The Country Programme Document of Nepal identifies
the priority issues in human settlement sector and
suggests intervention to be made by the Government
and UN HABITAT. Detailed discussions were held
between the representatives of UN HABITAT and
the Ministry for mainstreaming the contents of the
document with the broader framework of current
policies and programmes of the Government.
I firmly believe that this document will guide the
UNHABITAT as well as the stakeholders involved in
housing and human settlement sector in Nepal for
the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals
(MDG). I consider it as an important milestone in the
long standing relationship between Nepal and UN
HABITAT. I thank concerned officials of UN HABITAT
and my ministry for their hard work during the
preparation of this document.
Honourable Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar,
Minister of Physical Planning and Works
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States
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NATIONAL URBAN POLICY
CONTEXT
Nepal is surrounded by two countries: India in the
south and the Tibet region of China in the North.
Compared to several countries in the Asia-Pacific
region, Nepal has low urbanisation. According to
2001 data, the urban population totalled 15%
and is expected to reach 18% by 2015. The urban
population is mainly concentrated in 58 municipalities.
Internal migration has been increasing due to
deficiencies in basic social and physical infrastructure
and a lack of economic opportunities in the rural
areas. The 10 year long conflict has contributed to
the rise in the urban population migrating from the
rural areas to the cities. Correspondingly, some major
cities and towns of Nepal including Kathmandu Valley,
have experienced higher population growth than the
national growth rate of 3.5 %.
Due to inadequate policies and programmatic
responses to rapid urbanisation, urban growth has
been haphazard resulting in specific problems. There
have been problems in access to almost all basic urban
services such as drinking water, sanitation and solid
waste management, pollution, traffic congestion,
transportation, and fuel supply, and crime and violence
situation has significantly deteriorated. In addition,
other associated problems have been encroachment
of land along rivers, forest and public land, decrease
in arable land, haphazard urbanisation or emergence
and expansion of informal settlements (slums and
squatters).
The problems associated with the rapid rise in the
urban population can be solved only with the joint
efforts of particular institutions in Nepal and with
bilateral agencies, multilateral agencies and United
Nations agencies. In this context, UN-HABITAT’s
initiative, together with that of Asian Development
Bank, United Nations Development Programme and
the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ)
is quite important: (a) to raise the profile of the urban
development sector among government agencies,
bilateral agencies, multilateral agencies and United
Nations agencies, (b) to cope with the challenges of
rapid urbanisation to make a difference in the lives of
people living in urban areas in general and that of the
poor living in slums and squatters in particular.
Owing to recent positive political developments, that
led to the promulgation of the Interim Constitution
and the formation of the multi-party interim
government, which brought the promise of sustained
peace to Nepal, there are emerging signs of a strong
policy change towards low-income housing and urban
development. Similarly, election to the Constitutional
Assembly is expected to be held in April 2008, to be
followed by the drafting of the new Constitution,
parliamentary election and local government elections
over the next two to three years. In this context, the
Three Year Interim Plan 2007-2010 of the Government
of Nepal is a welcome step and provides a timely
opportunity to UN-HABITAT to support the human
settlements development sector in Nepal.
This UN-HABITAT Country Programme Document
has been developed in the context of a historically
significant political transition that is taking place
in Nepal at present. The UN-HABITAT Country
Programme Document attempts to address key urban
development challenges and priorities facing the
thematic areas of land and housing, shelter and basic
services, capacity development and urban governance
through the focus of the Medium Term Strategic and
Institutional Plan (2008 -2013) of UN-HABITAT.
The permanent ceasefire between the Maoist Party
and the government promises to end one of the
worst political crises that Nepal has ever experienced.
The possibility of sustained peace in the country
SITUATION ANALYSIS
STATISTICAL OVERVIEW
Urbanisation (2008)
Total population: 28.7 m
Urban population: 4.9 m (17.2%)

Annual Population growth rates
(2005-2010)
National: 1.9 percent
Urban: 4.8 percent
Population major cities (2008)
Kathmandu : 938 000
Source: UN DESA
Slum indicators (UN-HABITAT)
Slum to urban population: 60.7%
% urban population with access to:
Improved water: 90.1%
Piped water: 50.5%
Improved sanitation: 79.0%
Sufficient living area: 74.5%
Durable housing: 71.8%
Source: UN-HABITAT, 2006











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has brought forth new hope for development while
bringing in its wake daunting challenges of reform
and development. The armed conflict that started
in 1996 took its toll on people’s lives exposing many
deep-seated political geographic, economic, social,
gender-related and ethnic inequities within Nepalese
society. The greatest challenge facing Nepal is in
delivering a peace dividend to those who were the
victims of these injustices and correcting the inequities
on the ground that have divided Nepal and prevented
its social and economic development over the past 10
years.
FOCUS AREA 1: ADVOCACY,
MONITORING AND PARTNERSHIPS
VULNERABILITY REDUCTION
Although no disaggregated data is available, it
is highly likely that Nepal’s Dalits, disadvantaged
Janajatis, and other marginalised and economically
poor sections of the population suffer more from
natural disasters because they have fewer resources,
less knowledge and less influence to withstand the
negative effects of disaster compared to better off
people (Common Country Assessment 2007, United
Nations Country Team Nepal)
It will be clear from the percentage of households
living in under-serviced settlements (92.4%) in urban
areas, the vulnerability they are exposed to in terms
of health hygiene and possible natural and manmade
disasters. Common Country Assessment for Nepal,
2007, clearly states that “it is very important that
development gains and people’s livelihoods are
protected from natural hazards of floods, landslides
and earthquakes, which have potential to set Nepal
development back by years. Common Country
Assessment has identified various future priorities and
recommended planning actions for the reduction of
vulnerability. UN-HABITAT will be able to contribute
in helping its government counterpart to materialise
those actions based on its experience elsewhere.
CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT
If housing and urban development has to be
effective in Nepal, one of critical issues that need to
be addressed is the capacity building of responsible
Ministries, Departments, local authorities, non-
governmental organisations and Community-based
Organisations. In this context relevant outcomes
highlighted by United Nations Development Assistance
Framework are (a) Local Government and line agencies
more effectively mobilise and manage resources and
deliver services and (b) Line ministries and the Ministry
of Local Development have structures, policies and
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States
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programmes that support decentralised, quality service
delivery that is pro-poor and inclusive. Therefore, the
objectives related to the United Nations Development
Assistance Framework that UN-HABITAT needs to
contribute include: (a) to build capacity of the Ministry
of Physical Planning and Works, the Ministry of Land
Development, Department of Urban Development
and Building Construction, Department Water
Supply and Swearage (DWSS) water utilities, local
government Municipality of Association of Nepal and
non-governmental organisations to effectively mobilise
resources and manage/facilitate urban projects, and (b)
Facilitate the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works,
the Ministry of Land Development and Department of
Urban Development and Building Construction, DWSS
to delegate authorities to local government and non-
governmental organisations to deliver quality services
that are pro-poor and inclusive.
FOCUS AREA 2: PARTICIPATORY
URBAN PLANNING, MANAGEMENT
AND GOVERNANCE
URBAN PLANNING MANAGEMENT
The national policy, programmes and documents
that are directly related to Urban Planning and
Management include:
(a) National Urban Policy 2007
(b) Three year Interim Plan of the Department of
Urban Development and Building
Construction on Housing and Urban Sector
(2007-2010)
(c) Vision Paper on “New Physical Infrastructure
Foundation of the New Nepal 2007–2027”
prepared by the Ministry of Physical Planning
and Works and
(d) Local Self- Governance Act 1999
The objectives put forward by the National Urban
Policy and related to Urban Planning include: (a)
providing support to sustainable urban development
and poverty reduction, and (b) making urban
management effective. National Urban Policy reiterates
the need for Periodic Plans as a key framework for all
the municipalities to guide their development efforts.
Accordingly, detailed guidelines have been prepared to
prepare Periodic Plans for the municipalities.
The Local Self-Governance Act established of
1999 provides the necessary legal framework for
municipalities to prepare and implement periodic
plans, as mentioned earlier. However, the department
concerned i.e. Department of Urban Development
and Building Construction and municipalities have
limited technical and financial capacity to do so, and
therefore, only a limited number of municipalities can
prepare a period plan. To let many more municipalities
prepare periodic plans, technical and limited financial
support is required.
URBAN GOVERNANCE AND INSTITUTIONS
The Local Self-Governance Act established in 1999
provides a good legal framework for local self-
governance. However, it was not fully utilised due
to the weak structure of District Development
Committees, Village Development Committees and
Nagar Palikas. The terms of elected bodies were
not renewed in July 2002 after their term expired.
Therefore, after July 2002, local government functions
have been carried out by government appointed local
development officers (Common Country Assessment
Nepal 2007).
A caveat to improving service delivery is that it may
take a while for local government bodies that play
a major role in service delivery to work effectively
again. Newly elected bodies are still a few years away.
Therefore, alternative means of supporting improved
service delivery need to be explored (Common
Country Assessment Nepal 2007). Common Country
Assessment Nepal 2007 recommends strengthening of
democratic and inclusive governance by:
Making non-governmental organisations more
efficient and democratic
Forging stronger links between the government,
the private sector and non-governmental
organisations
Supporting the formation of and strengthening of
networks of community organisations, including
women federations, children groups and groups
representing other vulnerable groups to increase
participation and empower excluded and
vulnerable populations
Enabling local government to implement Local
Self-Governance Act.




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The figure is based on an international definition of
slums, and Nepal needs its own definition of slums.
Whether the figure of 94.2% is acceptable or not,
it indicates a grim housing situation, poor urban
development and low quality of life in the cities and
towns of Nepal.
Though the National Shelter Policy, introduced in
1993, its monitoring system was weak, and hence
its implementation ineffective. In the present context
of a rapid increase in slums and squatter camps and
the necessity for addressing land for housing to poor
families, the Department of Urban Development and
Building Construction/Ministry of Physical Planning
and Works is revising the National Shelter Policy with
wider consultations with all the key stakeholders.
UN-HABITAT is providing technical assistance for the
revision of the policy and will continue to support the
implementation of the policy in collaboration with
other key stakeholders.
SLUM UPGRADING AND PREVENTION
The environmental improvement of slums has been
identified as one of the key policy issues in both the
National Urban Policy and Shelter Policy in creating
safe and economically vibrant urban environments.
The relation between living environment, housing,
health, poverty and economic development of a city
is widely acknowledged. Despite this, national efforts
currently focusing on the issue of slum upgrading
are limited and mostly undertaken by various non-
governmental organisations. Unless recognised at the
national level, isolated efforts by non-governmental
organisations alone, appear to be inadequate. In
this regard, UN-HABITAT’s technical assistance in
developing a national strategy on Slum Upgrading and
Investment Programme should be extremely useful
in formulating national policies, carry out targeted
interventions to improve physical conditions, and
in integrating economic development programmes
focused on the reduction of urban poverty, comprising
of skills development, educational programmes and
other entrepreneurship development programmes,
which improve the financial capability of households
in the slums and squatter settlements.
FOCUS AREA 3: PRO-POOR LAND
AND HOUSING
LAND FOR HOUSING
Not much has been done to provide access to land for
housing, especially for the poor. Most of the supply of
land for housing is being provided by land brokers and
mostly focused on those who can afford to pay for it.
The concerned department and limited municipalities
have been engaged in land pooling which provided
access to developed land; however, such a provision
is also limited to those who already have land or who
can afford to purchase it.
The lack of systematic initiatives from the public and
private sectors, in providing access to land for housing
in general to the poor has resulted in a haphazard
urban sprawl and the emergence of slums and
squatters in municipalities. According to the Nepal
living standard survey, 23.5 % of households in urban
areas live in rented dwellings, and in Kathmandu this
percentage is 35%. Similarly, 3.8% households are
squatting on marginal land. According to the UN-
HABITAT’s State of World Cities Report 2006/7, the
slum population in urban areas of Nepal in 2001 was
92.4%.
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States
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SHELTER AND BASIC SERVICES
In the shelter sector, the contribution of the public
sector, private sector and civil society is nominal. Most
of the houses are owner-built, irrespective of the level
of income, and their quality varies accordingly. The
role of the central and local governments are limited
to the formulation of building bylaws and issuing
building permits and monitoring construction up to a
point. Basic urban services, such as water, sanitation,
electricity, access improvement and municipal services
follow after the houses are constructed. The process
is unrealistic, and therefore, while the buildings are
legally constructed, urban sprawl and haphazard
growth is widespread in cities and towns in Nepal.
Recently, housing companies have emerged in bigger
towns, that provide serviced apartment and building
together with credit facilities, but they are limited
to those who can afford (middle and high income
groups). Government and municipalities introduced
land-pooling projects that increase the supply of
serviced land for shelter construction. These initiatives
are very much appreciable but are limited to those
who can afford them. As a result, the poor are
deprived of access to housing, and the only alternative
left to them is to either stay in slums by renting rooms
without facilities or to squat on marginal public lands.
What is needed is to expand these public and private
initiatives with special focus on low income families
and a revised National shelter Policy would certainly
address these issues.
Although a housing policy was introduced in 1993,
and the various five year development plans have been
highlighting policies for housing the poor, very little
has been done systematically to address the critical
issue of housing for the poor and slum and squatter
upgrading. One of the reasons for the Housing/Urban
development sector to lag behind compared to
neighbouring countries in South and South East Asia
is the lack of broader and systematic approach to the
delivery of housing for the poor. The National Shelter
Policy currently under revision would have a two-
pronged approach, namely, curative and preventive.
Curative measures include upgrading of informal
settlements by providing them (a) access to
improved physical and social infrastructure, and (b)
income opportunities by introducing saving-and-
credit and providing access to finance. Preventive
measures include (a) increase in the supply of rental
accommodation by encouraging people to build rental
accommodation targeted at poor families, (b) provide
access to finance for housing (especially low-income
housing),
(c) provide access to developed land for poor families
by earmarking certain percentages in land pooling/
development (private or public) and housing projects,
and (d) implement low-income and low-cost housing
projects.
FOCUS AREA 4:
ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND BASIC
URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE AND
SERVICES
URBAN WATER AND SANITATION SITUATION
Drinking water and sanitation facilities are directly
related to human health and daily life of human
being are their basic need. Adequate development
and providing access to drinking water and sanitation
facilities contribute to public health while a healthy
workforce significantly contributes to the overall
development and progress of the nation. Development
of this sector positively contributes to the poverty
reduction through health status improvement of
the people, additional income generation through a
healthy workforce, reduction of treatment costs etc.
According to the Common Country Assessment, the
number of people with access to improved drinking
water facilities should meet the Goals 7 target 10 if
the maintenance of the facilities has been adequately
addressed as the installation of improved water
supply facilities is progressing well. The increasing
participation of user groups in the construction,
operation and maintenance of drinking water systems
is a positive approach to ensuring sustainability of the
water supply systems. Even though around 76% of
the population has access to drinking water facilities,
Nepal is still way behind in meeting the sanitation
Goals target. Only one fifth and one third of Nepalese
residing in rural and urban areas respectively have
improved sanitation facilities. However, information on
sanitation coverage is inconsistent. According to the
Nepal Population and Health Survey 2007, about 37%
of urban households, and 20% of rural households
are using improved latrines. According to the Ministry
of Physical Planning and Works, some 46 percent
of the population is using proper latrines. In this
scenario, the Common Country Assessment has rightly
pointed out that the key challenge for increasing the
sanitation coverage is to ensure that the poor and the
marginalised people of the urban fringes and the rural
areas have access to improved drinking water sources
and construct and use their own latrines.
COUNTRY PROGRAMME DOCUMENT 2008 – 2009 11
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GOVERNANCE
Strengthening technical and human resource
capacity within major partners
Assist is reviewing and revising prevailing Acts,
Build capacity to enabling local government to
implement Local Self-Governance Act
Improvement in the quality of data collection
Increase provision of urban services especially
to urban poor settlements
Legal measures to ensure moratorium on
forced evictions and security of tenure (land for
housing) for poor families living in slums and
squatters in urban areas.






URBAN SECTOR CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT NEEDS
URBAN PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT
Capacity of MPPW, MLD and DUDBC, DWSS,
municipalities and MuAN staffs build to
effectively mobilize resources and manage/
facilitate urban projects.
Develop urban development strategies
Updates maps of municipalities and poverty
profiles
Prepare strategic plans of municipalities
Exposure and training





URBAN SECTOR CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT NEEDS
HOUSING AND THE
ENVIRONMENT
Development of
Environment management
system
Training in environmental
planning and management
Providing technical support
in developing a Urban
sanitation policy
Job creation and local
economic development




URBAN WATER AND
SANITATION
Water Demand
Management, Pro-
poor service delivery
mechanism of water
utilities, pro-poor urban
water governance,
Integrated Urban
environmental
sanitation and gender
mainstreaming, urban
water and sanitation
policy formulation

The table above presents the three main urban capacity development needs in Nepal: governance,
urban planning and management, housing and the environment, urban water and sanitation and service
delivery. As these are cross-cutting components, they emphasize capacity development priorities of all
focus areas of the Nepal UN-HABITAT Country Programme Documents.
SERVICE DELIVERY
Quality of life of socially
excluded and economically
marginalized groups living in
slums squatters are improved
considerably.
Socially excluded and
economically marginalized
groups especially women
participate in the social, physical
and economic improvement of
their communities
Facilitate MPPW, MLD and
DUDBC and DWSS to delegate
authorities to local government
and NGOs to quality service
delivery that is pro-poor and
inclusive.



United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States
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United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States
14
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT GOALS
AND PRIORITIES
The Ministry of Physical Planning and Works, the main
institution at central government level, is responsible
for developing guidelines and programmes for
housing and urban development, water and sanitation
activities for the whole nation. The activities of The
Ministry of Physical Planning and Works are mainly
focused on: urban development and housing, town
development, construction and maintenance of
government buildings, resettlement of homeless rural
families, water supply, drainage and sewerage, and
other environmental activities concerning with physical
development programmes. The approved National
Urban Policy and forthcoming National Housing Policy
(currently under revision) will be instrumental in setting
pro-poor national development goals and priorities in
the sector of housing and urban development.
Department of Urban Development and Building
Construction is one of the departments under The
Ministry of Physical Planning and Works responsible
for urban development, housing, town development
and government buildings. It is also responsible for
the implementation of National Urban Policy and
National Shelter Policy. The Department of Urban
Development and Building Construction prepares
annual programmes and implements accordingly after
their approval by The Ministry of Physical Planning
and Works and National Planning Commission. It is
essential to prepare the annual programmes of the
Department of Urban Development and Building
Construction based on national policies and priorities.
Recently, the Department of Urban Development and
Building Construction prepared a Three-year Interim
Plan which complemented the Three-year National
Interim Plan which was of particular interest to UN-
HABITAT as it complemented the ongoing preparation
of the proposal on Slum Upgrading Strategy and
Investment Plan for submission to Cities Alliance.
Similarly in the water and sanitation sectors, there
are many agencies involved in Nepal under the
umbrella of The Ministry of Physical Planning and
Works. Department of Water Supply and Sewerage
is the lead agency in Nepal in water and sanitation
sector. However, Nepal Water Supply Corporation
is responsible for supplying drinking water to
municipalities and municipalities are involved in
sewerage, draining and waste management facilities.
Due to the lack of urban water and sanitation policy,
the institutional role is not much clearer in the sector.
Three Year Interim Plan 2007-2010 and other Plans
: With the recent positive political developments
that have led to the promulgation of the Interim
Constitution, and the formation of a multi-party
Interim Government which brought the promise of
sustained peace to Nepal, there are emerging signs
of a strong policy change towards housing and urban
development at the national-level. Reinforcing the
objectives of the Three Year Interim Plan 2007-2010,
to upgrade 25 slum and squatter communities in
the country, the Ministry of Physical Planning and
Works has formulated a Vision Paper 2007-2027
on “New Physical Infrastructure Foundation of the
New Nepal 2007–2027” that promises to increase
access by common Nepali people to infrastructure
like road transport, water supply, building and
housing. The Vision Paper further promises to launch
effective programmes to address the issue of squatter
settlements.
Addressing another critical aspect of the problem,
discussed earlier in this UN-HABITAT Country
Programme Document, the Vision Paper states:
“Water supply projects identified and prioritised
by users will be implemented with their active
participation. Priority will be given to include
economically weaker sections, oppressed classes
and Dalits (Untouchables) in the leadership of user
committees”, thereby setting a perfect background
for a nationwide pro-poor development strategy to
address the long-neglected needs of the millions of
slum and squatter dwellers.
Similarly, the Interim Plan reinforces the outcomes set
out by the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper/Tenth
Plan (2002/03 – 2006/07) in the water and sanitation
sector. This plan has been designed to carry out
development programmes in a planned manner until
the newly elected government is formed. The plan
indicates equitable access to drinking water for 90
percent of the population.
The Government of Nepal has developed plans like
the National Water Plan 2005 and the Three-year
Interim Plan 2007-10 to guide the nation in improving
its water and sanitation situation. The National Water
Plan aims to provide basic drinking water services to
90% population, access to medium or high standard
drinking water services to 5% population and basic
sanitation facilities to 90% population by the end of
2012.
STRATEGY
COUNTRY PROGRAMME DOCUMENT 2008 – 2009 15
N
E
P
A
L
WATER AND SANITATION
According to the Common Country
Assessment 2007, the key issues related
to water and sanitation includes: (a) Lack
of Access to Safe Drinking Water and Poor
Sanitary and Hygiene Habits (b) Poor Water
Quality (c) Low Coverage and Use of Latrines
and (d) Lack of Adequate Facilities in Schools
and Health Posts. A separate country support
strategy document has been prepared to
implement Water for Asian Cities Programme
in Nepal for the period of 2008 to 2012 that
will support the country in urban water and
sanitation. In addition, this programme will
also address several key issues highlighted by
Common Country Assessment 2007.

URBAN SECTOR PRIORITIES
SLUM UPGRADING
Environment improvement of slums and
squatter settlements has been identified as one
of the key policy issues in both the National
Urban Policy and Shelter Policy to create a safe
and economically vibrant urban environment.
The relation between living environment,
housing, health, poverty and economic
development of a city is widely acknowledged.
And in this context UN-HABITAT has included
slum upgrading in the priority sector. The
areas that will be covered under this sector are
(a) slum upgrading strategy and investment
plan and (b) piloting slum upgrading in few
municipalities and (c) improving governance
to assure security of tenure for the poor and
marginalised.

URBAN SECTOR PRIORITIES
URBAN DEVELOPMENT AND HOUSING
The Department of Urban Development
and Building Construction under The
Ministry of Physical Planning and Works
has been providing technical and limited
financial support to municipalities to prepare
Periodic Plans. Progress, so far, has not been
satisfactory. In this context, UN-HABITAT’s
Sustainable Cities Programme which focuses
on the provision of technical assistance for
improved urban environmental planning and
management, and which seeks to address
poverty concerns and local capacity building
would be useful in expediting and extending
the current efforts of the Department of Urban
Development and Building Construction to
greater numbers of municipalities and for this
UN-HABITAT’s support would be necessary.

CAPACITY BUILDING
The Department of Urban Development
and Building Construction under The
Ministry of Physical Planning and Works
has been providing technical and limited
financial support to municipalities to prepare
Periodic Plans. Progress, so far, has not been
satisfactory. In this context, UN-HABITAT’s
Sustainable Cities Programme which focuses
on the provision of technical assistance for
improved urban environmental planning and
management, and which seeks to address
poverty concerns and local capacity building
would be useful in expediting and extending
the current efforts of the Department of Urban
Development and Building Construction to
greater numbers of municipalities and for this
UN-HABITAT’s support would be necessary.

The identified sector priorities that UN-HABITAT would support include (a) water and sanitation (b) Slum
Upgrading (c) Urban Development and housing and (d) Capacity Building. Brief information on these
priority sectors is presented here and proposes intervention on each of these priorities presented in the
results resource framework.
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States
16
UN-HABITAT’S PROPOSED
STRATEGY FOR THE SECTOR
UN-HABITAT presence’s in Nepal has been more visible
with the implementation of the Water for Asian
Cities Programme since 2005. Recently, UN-HABITAT
in Nepal has been further strengthened by the
appointment of its Programme Manager in September
2007. The preparation of this UN-HABITAT Country
Programme Document is therefore a very important
step forward in assisting the Government and the
people of Nepal in the Water and sanitation and
human settlements development sector.
Various organisations working on urban and human
settlements development in Nepal are familiar with
UN-HABITAT because it has been supporting Nepal
in one way or another since its establishment as the
United Nations Centre of Human Settlement. In the
past, UN-HABITAT had sponsored participants from
Nepal in training workshops and seminars at regional
and international level, which contributed to the
capacity building processes of Nepalese professionals.
Similarly, the engagement of UN-HABITAT in the Rural-
Urban Partnership Programme, Urban Management
Programme and Water for Asian Cities Programme has
provided opportunity for UN-HABITAT to demonstrate
the importance of its mandate, its technical assistance
and cooperation activities in Nepal as the United
Nations’ “city and shelter agency”. However, it is
acknowledged that UN-HABITAT should have a
permanent presence in Nepal and contribute to the
urban development and housing sector in Nepal
especially in view of the ongoing peace process and
the country’s transition to democracy. To contribute
effectively and efficiently to the urban development
and housing sector in Nepal, UN-HABITAT will adopt
the following strategy:
Establish a UN-HABITAT country office in Nepal
with a core team of national professional and
support staff. A start has been made in this
direction by the recent appointment of the UN-
HABITAT Programme Manager
Advocate and support the implementation of the
Habitat Agenda
Support the establishment of the National Urban
Forum and its regular functioning led by the
Ministry of Physical Planning and Works
Participate actively in the Donors’ Forum and
contribute in meeting the objective of the forum -
Work in close collaboration with ministries
concerned with urban sector such as the Ministry
of Physical Planning and Works and Ministry of
Local Development.





COUNTRY PROGRAMME DOCUMENT 2008 – 2009 17
N
E
P
A
L
Mobilise resources for implementing projects on
urban sector especially focusing on the urban poor
Take main responsibility for assisting Nepalese
institutions in localising the Goals (7/10 and 11)
and reporting on achievement status
Provide technical and financial assistance to
the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works/
Department of Urban Development and Building
Construction and Ministry of Local Development in
the formulation and revision of a pro-poor policy
Enhance the capacity of national professionals
engaged in the urban sector by: (a) learning by
doing, and (b) by assessing the training needs of
key professionals at local and central level, and
supporting the provision of appropriate training
Provide opportunities for Nepalese professionals to
participate in regional and international seminars,
workshops and training
Facilitate implementing projects on housing and
urban sector by the existing organisations so that
support is institutionalised and sustained.
Similarly, UN-HABITAT will follow the strategies
outlined below to meet its urban water and
sanitation objectives:







pro-poor urban governance to ensure the
involvement of local authorities, communities,
vulnerable groups in Water and Sanitation service
delivery.
Increase access to safe water supply services with
special focus for urban poor.
Improve/increase sanitation coverage and hygiene
promotion focusing on poor and excluded
communities and promotion of sustainable
sanitation practices.
Monitor and localise the Goals related to Water
and Sanitation.
Enhance capacity for sustainable water and
sanitation service delivery.
Mainstream gender, socially excluded,
underprivileged communities and ethnic minorities.
Adopt/strengthen sustainable and environmentally
friendly solid waste management system.
Improve/increase sanitation coverage and hygiene
promotion focusing on poor and excluded
communities and promotion of sustainable
sanitation practices








United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States
18
IMPLEMENTATION ARRANGEMENTS
KEY PRINCIPLES
To supplement the strategy highlighted above, the key
principles will be as follows:
Given the current institutional framework at the
national-level, the main national counterpart of UN-
HABITAT will be the Ministry of Physic al Planning and
Works for policy matters, and Department of Urban
Development and Building Construction and DWSS
under the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works for
implementing projects. Counterpart for governance
aspects will be the Ministry of Local Development
together the Ministry of Physic al Planning and Works .
Any project assisted by UN-HABITAT will have an
Advisory Committee chaired by a UN-HABITAT Focal
Person in the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works
with other key institutions as members. The steering
committee will form sub-committees as and when
necessary for the delegation of authorities. UN-
HABITAT will be represented in the steering committee
and sub committees. Municipality Association of Nepal
and concerned municipalities will also be represented
in the advisory committee and sub-committees, as and
when necessary. The structure of the committees will
be decided on the type of project.
UN-HABITAT will assist Ministry of Physical Planning
and Works in establishing and operating a National
Urban Forum and thematic sub-forums. Co-ordination
with major stakeholders will be done through the
national urban forum and thematic sub forums.
Coordination with United Nations-Agencies, bilateral
and multilateral agencies will be done though donors’
forum and United Nations country team.
INFORMATION
The basic problem in the sectors of water and
sanitation, and housing and urban development
in Nepal, is the lack of information in general and
segregated information in particular. Similarly, other
areas of concern where information is concerned, is
the documentation of experience and best practices.
In these sectors, UN-HABIAT will be supporting
information collection, documentation dissemination
will be in built into project design. UN-HABITAT
websites and training tools will also be used for more
information.
COUNTRY PROGRAMME DOCUMENT 2008 – 2009 19
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.
5

m
COUNTRY PROGRAMME DOCUMENT 2008 – 2009 21
R
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United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States
22
Draft National Shelter policy 2008
National urban Policy 2007
Three Year Interim Plan 2007-2010 of the Government of Nepal
UNDAF 2007 – 2010
CCA 2007
Background paper on Slum Upgrading in Nepal
Draft proposal on Slum Upgrading Strategy and Investment plan Nepal
Vision Paper on “New Physical Infrastructure
Foundation of the New Nepal 2007–2027”(MPPW)
Local Self- Governance act 1999
UN-HABITAT’s State of World City Report 2006/7
UN HABITAT Water for Asian Cities Programme – Nepal, 2007 Country and Gender mainstreaming strategy
Photo Credits by Pablo Nicolás Taibi Cicaré ; www.flicer.net/people/cirque-du-pablo
BIBLIOGRAPHY
ACRONYMS
ADB Asian Development Bank
CBOs Community Based Organisations
CCA Country Common Assessment
CIUD Centre for Integrated Urban Development
DDCs District Development Committees
DEX Direct Execution (Modality of UNDP)
DUDBC Department of Urban Development and Building Construction
(DWSS) Department Water Supply and Swearage
ENPHO, Environment and Public Health Organization
ECCA Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness
GON Government of Nepal
GTZ German Technical Cooperation
HCPD UN-HABITAT Country Programme Document
HPM UN-HABITAT Programme Manager
HVWSHE Human Value based Water Sanitation and Hygiene Education
LUMANTI Support Group for Shelter
COUNTRY PROGRAMME DOCUMENT 2008 – 2009 23
N
E
P
A
L
MDG Millennium Development Goal
MLD Ministry of Local Development
MPPW Ministry of Physical planning and Works
MTSIP Medium-Term Strategic and Institutional Plan (2008 -2013)
MuAN Municipality Association of Nepal
NGOs Non Government Organisations
PPPUE Public Private Partnership for the Urban Environment
(PPTA) Project Preparatory Technical Assistance
ROAP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (UN-HABITAT)
RUPP Rural Urban Partnership Programme
RWH Rain Water Harvesting
TDF Town Development Fund
UEIP Urban Environment Improvement Programme
UDLE Urban development thorough Local Efforts (gtz)
UNDAF United Nations Development Assistance Framework
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
VDCs Village Development Committees
WACP Water for Asian Cities Programme
WB World Bank
© UN-HABITAT
Kathmandu
The boundaries and names shown and the
designations used on this map do not imply official
endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States
24
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
UN-HABITAT had been present in Nepal intermittently
since the late 1980s engaging in a number of
technical assistance programmes in the field of
human settlements development. In 2005, the Water
for Asian Cities was launched in the country focusing
on water and environmental sanitation infrastructure
and administration. The primary governmental
counterpart for this programme is the Ministry of
Physical Planning Works and its relevant departments,
while secondary counterparts are local authorities. As
of September 2007, a Habitat Programme Manger
has also been recruited to strengthen representation
of the agency with government and the UN Country
Team.
This UN-HABITAT Country Programme Document
(HCPD) has been developed in the context of a
historically significant political transition that is
taking place in Nepal at present. The HCPD attempts
to address key urban development challenges and
priorities on the thematic areas of land and housing,
shelter and basic services, capacity development and
urban governance.
The coverage of the HCPD is within the framework
of the government’s of the development goals
and priorities on housing, urban development and
water and sanitation. The HCPD also follows the
framework provided by the Medium Term Strategic
and Institutional Plan (2008 -2013) of UN-HABITAT.
The HCPD encompasses three components (1)
Support to Housing Policy (2) Support to Urban
Development Policy and (c) Support to Urban Water
and Sanitation and are as follows;
Support to Housing Policy include components like
(a) revision of National housing policy (b) Community-
based Housing for marginalized families (c) National
Slum Upgrading Strategy and investment plan (d)
Supporting three year interim plan on slum upgrading
initiative of MPPW/DUDBC and (e) Capacity of
enhancement of national partners.
Support to Urban Development Policy include
components like (a) Establishment of National urban
forum (b) Localizing MDG and monitoring MDGs.(c)
Raising the profile of the sector to attract investments
and (d) Enhancing capacity of national partners.
Support in Urban Water and Sanitation include
components like (a) Improving pro-poor urban
WATSAN Governance (b) Promoting Urban Water
Demand Management (c) Integrated Urban
Environmental Sanitation and (d) Capacity Building
and advocacy
It is expected that the HCPD will be instrumental
in assisting the government of Nepal in the field
of human settlements in partnership with Asian
Development Bank (ADB), The World Bank (WB),
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), GTZ
– Urban Development through Local Efforts (UDLE),
GTZ – Urban Development through Local Efforts
(udle) and other development agencies engaged in
Nepal.
Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States (ROAAS)
P.O. Box 30030, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: (+254) 20-762 3075, www.unhabitat.org
Habitat Programme Manager in Nepal:
Mr. Prafulla Pradhan (Prafulla.Pradhan@undp.org)

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