Changemaker Challenge Suman smart paani dopper

The Story of Suman Shakya

It all started when Suman realised he did not want to be dependent on the government for his water supply. He took matters into his own hands, he co-founded SmartPaani – a company that installs water purification systems. Read here how this simple idea impacted the lives of many over the years.



SmartPaani was founded in Nepal – a beautiful country which is home to some of the most amazing peaks of the Himalayas. But Nepal also has a less pretty side to it. Especially when it comes to water and sanitation systems, which are not as accessible and clean as we would want them to be. This has many negative effects on the development of Nepal (just imagine the impact contaminated water has on people’s health). The nation’s health issues and the lack of a reliable water infrastructure, are neither new nor up for debate. However, the UN has set worldwide ambitions for water and sanitation services, which are clearly described in Sustainable Development Goal 6. And even though the goals won’t have to be met any time soon, Suman and SmartPaani are actually making a measurable change in the lives of many people in Nepal. How? They are providing solutions – one filtration system at the time.


Filtration systems

Instead of creating an infrastructure of pipes throughout Nepal, Suman and his partner decided to use the water that is accessible to all of us – it has many names, but most of us know it as… RAIN. Those annoying showers that might ruin your already cloudy day, actually make all of the difference for the many people that Suman has helped over the years. He does this by installing big barrels with ingenious filtration systems. These large containers are typically placed next to the owner’s building to make sure that no one has to think twice when they are thirsty.


Impact in numbers

SmartPaani encourages individuals, communities, and organisations to adopt sustainable water management solutions. But how successful are they? Let us just throw some numbers at you (who doesn’t like numbers right?): SmartPaani installed more than 2300 installations in the last seven years. This has given 32,000 students in 155 schools access to drinking water. Moreover, every year the systems harvest 45,000,000 litres of rainwater, and treat 15,000 litres of wastewater. Sometimes numbers speak for themselves. Suman however, also does some of the talking.


More than just numbers

Suman is not just the co-founder of SmartPaani. He’s also co-founder of the Nepal Entrepreneurs’ Hub, Founder of Tangent Waves – a consulting and facilitation company, and a consultant for The World Bank. These roles enable him to reach a lot of different people with his mission. As a consultant/ trainer/ entrepreneur he’s an active member of the community. And because he is bold enough to share the mission of SmartPaani wherever he goes, this changemaker got a lot of the attention. One of the organisations that Suman has been in contact with is Dopper (that’s us!). As you can imagine, we are very proud to call SmartPaani our partner. If you want to find out even more reasons why we love SmartPaani click here to visit our partner page.


Advice for future Changemakers

“There are many problems that need to be addressed both in Nepal and on a global level. While innovative and creative ideas must be forthcoming, changemakers must also ensure that their ideas grow strong legs that can run and be successful (commercially or adoption by organisations).”

Take this advice at heart – Suman will be one of the judges for the Changemaker Challenge Nepal!
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