Oxfam - Nepal - Citizen Science - Building Evidence

Local women in Nepal's far-west region take part in water quality monitoring in the Mahakali river. Photo: Kamal Rawal/ RUWDUC

Citizen Science - Building Evidence

When informed citizens become active advocates, it can create windows for change and strong political will for improved policies.

In an exemplary demonstration of citizen action, community members from Women's Empowerment Centers (WECs) in Nepal’s Mahakali region have come forward to participate in gathering scientific data and build evidence to inform better policies for water-related issues.

This resulted from discussions among communities with local government representatives and civil society organisations of Nepal and India, which led to the identification of common issues related to transboundary water governance in the Mahakali, including those brought on by increasing pollution.

The Citizen Science initiative identifies and trains community representatives to collect data on the pollutants in the Mahakali and determine overall river health using standard scientific protocols.

This information they believe will be vital in improving communities' capacities to engage with and support local governments' drive to address pollution.

Started from February, Oxfam in Nepal and India will collect data on twelve pollution parameters twice a month.

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