A case of Kholakharka Karangdi Lift Scheme, Nibuwakharka VDC, Syangja
Lifting water to the previously dry hill tops changes lives. These locations do not have alternative option, with winter rains now missing and small water sources drying up. In these locations people are highly satisfied with their new water schemes, which have changed the life style in these communities. Hardship is over for these villages.
Kholakharka Karangdi Electric Lift Drinking Water Supply scheme was constructed in Nibuwakharka VDC of Syangja district, Western Nepal. It serves the population of 817 living in 118 households. These include 50 Dalit, 47 Janajati and 21 other households. The scheme was selected by the District Management Committee as per the district priority on the basis of hardship in the community, and prioritized through the regular local government planning process of the Government of Nepal.
“I feel very happy for getting water nearby the home yard these days”, says Mr. Laxman B.K., 73 years old water user from Karangdi village. He says that he has been fetching water since the age of 12 years until last June 2016. He used to carry water from Balenikhola source which used to take 2 hours walk in steep hill for a round trip. This water source is available only for 9 months, during the rest of the time every year he had to do an additional one hour walk to go for the next water source at Lugadhune. Mr B.K. has a knee pain problem and wants to forget those days when he had to walk 4 hours for two trips a day – a very hard walk down the hills for someone using a stick to walk. He added that there were so many incidents of falling while walking down and climbing up the steep hill, very hard experience in his life. Now that their water lifting scheme is completed, Mr B.K. has already forgotten what he contributed in cash and kind – it was worth it! He agrees that at first he was doubtful about the success of the water lifting project, but now it has all come true.
Many others have similar experiences to share as Mr B.K. For instance, Ms. Sunamaya Sunar, 31 years, shares that before the water supply scheme, she had to go to Balenikhola source during 9 months and to Lugadhune source during 3 months which takes minimum 4 hours for two daily trips to fetch water. This is not only walking but also waiting time. “Now that the scheme is completed, I have more time to take care of my children and their education, and also the cattle and farming. Availability of water makes it easier to take care of my own personal hygiene and children’s sanitation.”
Queuing for water used to be a daily practice before.
Local men and women carrying water the traditional way - using bamboo baskets called dokos.
Roshan BK, 18 years old class 12 student, tells that he had to wake up 5.00 am early in the morning for fetching water daily. “There was no time for studies in the morning time but now, after this water scheme has been completed, I have time to study also in the morning. I am also helping my younger brother and sister in their studies.”
Indramaya Punjali, 17 years old girl and 11 Class student is feeling happy and is thanking the project team for their support. She added that she had a bitter experience of always being late for the school, always unable to join the first study period and always getting complaints from the teachers about being unable to complete home assignments. All this just because she had to spent about 4 hours a day in fetching water since her childhood. Now she is very happy because carrying water is history and she is free from those incidents at the school.
“It was the long waited demand for water supply system from the people of Kholakharkaand Karandi villages of Nibuwakharka and finally we got District Development Committee (DDC) Syangja and RWSSP-WN support. This is a great change in our life, life is now very much easier” shares Mr. Lokendra Thapa Magar, Chairperson of the Water Users and Sanitation Committee (WUSC).
According to the Yam Natha Paudel, Secretary of the WUSC, they completed the entire scheme within 12 months from signing the agreement with DDC. “It has 30 public tap stands, 9 reservoir tanks, 1700 m transmission line and about 7 km total distribution line”, he describes. The total actual cost of construction was about NPR 11,200,000 which includes NPR 3,200,000 as the community contribution in cash and kind, and the rest by the governments of Nepal and Finland together with the Syangja District Development Committee and Nibuwakharka VDC.
The District WASH Unit Syangja team expresses how this provides also them a lot of joy, bundles of satisfaction in their work and high motivation to continue working for such type of communities in the future. The authors feel proud of being “RWians”.