Morang, Nepal/ 21 March 2012
by Regional Office (East), LWF Nepal
Spending time in productive work was just a dream for Dhan Maya BK of Yangshila village of Morang district of Eastern Nepal a couple of years back but her dream turned into reality thanks to the support extended by a local development organization.
Dhan Maya and other 42 households of the village used to walk for hours to fetch a pot of water as the village did not have a reliable water source. They have to rely on water collected from very far, so, they have less time to think about personal hygiene and engage in other productive activities. They have to rely on the water carried from long distances to meet their household needs like drinking, cooking food, washing clothes, feeding cattle and others, so they could not think of irrigation and producing crops in their land.
People faced problems for growing vegetables as they did not have a proper irrigation source and were deprived from fresh vegetables. “We could not think of other productive works as we have to spend many time for collecting water,” recalls Dhan Maya.
As they were facing problem of water for years, the villagers knocked the doors of many development agencies but many such development agencies did not prioritize the issue. However, the community members continued their efforts. The Rural Community Development Organization provided NPR 120,000 (approx. 1200 Euros) to the community through Salghari Samudayik Sanstha (Group), which was financially and technically supported by the Lutheran World Federation Nepal, for constructing a water supply pipeline.
LWF Nepal has been supporting people of rural and poor communities since 1984. Encouraged from the support provided by the agency, the community people volunteered to work as labor for the construction work. They have been able to construct a piped water supply system from upstream of the river, 2 kms from the village, thanks to the generous support provided by the organization and hard-work of the community.
Following completion of the construction work, the community are happy to get water at their courtyard and have been able to invest their time in productive activities like vegetable farming and have been able to pay attention to personal hygiene. After they received water in their village, even women members of the community have been involved in income generating activities like vegetable farming.
“I have been able to send my children to school with appropriate uniforms and can feed them in a proper way as a result of income generated from sale of vegetables produced in my field,” says Dhan Maya, adding, “Having water in the community has also increased my income.”
The impact has been tremendous – consumption of fresh vegetables has increased at household level, incomes have increased at a community level through the sale of vegetables, sanitation & hygiene has improved as families now have adequate water in their homes and the use, number and maintenance of permanent toilets has also increased in the community.