enabling basic life necessities in the poorest villages
Although Nepal has one of the most abundant water resources on the planet, it also has one of the worst sanitation and water usage situations. A lack in technology and infrastructure, along with education plus increasing population growth, has caused this scenario.
Through our work in the micro-credit program and our work in other rural village projects we have learned much about the real situation. We have been asked by the village development committees (VDCs) to 'lend a helping hand' to make a difference.
Basic life necessity which additionally brings great joy
This project has emerged from the discussions with the women from the micro-credit groups. As they have come more together in 'groups' and identified common problems AND found a common voice – they expressed their wish for support to dig a well. In some of the communities of the micro-credit program the women would walk 2-4 hours per day simply for basic water. In discussion with our MC loan officers they explored their options. After being refused by neighbouring Villages to share their well (due to fears of scarcity) they approached us for support to build a well in their own village. The proposal included a long-term plan for maintenance and upkeep and how many households it would support (approx 130 household totaling approx 700 people including children). This first water project has been incredibly heart touching and moving – for most of us when we can simply turn on a tap and enjoy the luxury of everyday water, many are still walking hours to collect amounts, carry home and use sparingly. To see the tears of joy and gratitude in the eyes of the women who will benefit from this well has inspired us to open this project further and support the establishment of more wells in needy areas - if you wish to 'Adopt a Water Well Project', please contact us.
After completing the rural hospital building in Kalika, it became clear from the VDC that some additional support for sanitation and care for the water systems would be of benefit. This is true in most rural village areas. This will really help the health of the community as the poorest of the households are up/river of the main village and consequently their waste contaminates the water contributing to disease – water borne diseases being a major health issue in Nepal. See below for an excerpt of a discussion paper on this sanitation topic generally in Nepal.
This will be one of our 'adopt a project' options and you can contribute to helping a family build a toilet, please contact us.
Excerpt from Discussion paper:Nepal has the poorest drinking water and sanitation coverage for its population in South Asia and a large percentage of its drinking water contains faecalcoliforms."Water borne disease is transmitted through contaminated water, several bacterial, protozoal and viral water borne diseases have posed serious public health problem in Nepal," said TistaPrasai, Scientific Officer, Environment and Research Division, Nepal Academy of Science and Technology. According to the Nepal Country Environment Analysis  , diarrhea, intestinal worms, gastritis and jaundice are the top five water borne diseases in Nepal. "To improve our drinking water quality, management and manner are the two important factors, there also should be a community level participation because we have lacked both," said Dr. M.R. Chhetri, Assistant Professor, Nepal Medical College, Teaching Hospital. Inadequate protection of water sources, open defecation, poor protection of waterways, and poor maintenance are some of the main causes of bacterial contamination. Various estimates have suggested that to improve the quality of drinking water and sanitation for Nepalese there is need to invest US$ 2 billion (EUR 1.5 billion).
ref:Winrock International (2007). Nepal country environmental analysis. Part 1. Environmental sector review. Rev. draft. Kathmandu, Nepal, Winrock International.