Kirtipur Housing Society, Nepal


Location:  Kirtipur, Nepal
Scale: Neighborhood scale
Implementing organisation: Lumanti support group for shelter
Average annual rainfall: 1,600mm
Last visited: November, 2014

Total volume of rainwater harvested: Approx 1,171 kilo liters
Area: 915 sq meter (Roof top)


The Kirtipur housing society was constructed to address the issue of urban poor with environmentally sustainable design solutions. The housing was designed incorporating environmental practices to make it sustainable and cost efficient. The layout design includes clusters with open courtyard in each of the cluster, where the underground tanks with hand pumps are situated for the community use.


The rain water is collected from the roof tops of 44 houses designed in clusters. The runoff from roof goes down through the conduits present facing the courtyard with underground tanks.

The region gets continuous rainfall for 4-5 months which locally is called Chait Baisakh. To avoid the contaminated rainwater from the first rainfall of the season, the first flush mechanism is provided which is operated mechanically by the residents. The open spaces in the middle of the houses are developed for the community courtyard which also helps in storing water in underground tanks and for ground water infiltration purpose. These underground storage tanks collect the rain water falling from the roof top, the app. size of each tank is about 6 meter square area with 3 meter of depth. These storage tanks are provided with hand pump

People were also made aware of water optimization concepts and the issue of water quality. In this context, people were sensitized of the various options for water optimization techniques through value based water education and water treatment techniques that can be practiced at the household level, which in general terms are called point of use treatment mechanisms. Popular point of use options, including Solar Disinfection System (SODIS), chlorine liquid (PIYUSH) and bio-sand filter, have been promoted for treating rainwater, groundwater and piped water before consumption.


The water is collected by the houses through hand pump which are monitored by the staff appointed by the community itself. Every house takes around 2 drums of water per day. The water is used for all domestic purposes. The tank is cleaned twice a year before and after monsoon which they call Jaith mahina in local language. In case of overflow, the valve of pipe is opened and water will flow out from the road.

In Nepal, the increase in use of concrete in cities and streets is leading to drying up of wells and traditional water sources resulting in acute water shortage. The Kirtipur Housing Project is an example of how this problem can be addressed.


Support Group for Shelter
Jeetjung Marg 72, Thapathali,
Kathmandu Metropolitan City,
Ward No. 11, P.O.Box : 10546,
Kathmandu, Nepal

Ph: 977-1-4102119, 977-1-4102118