byNiels Lenderink via web
This special update on the NEWAH and RAIN project ‘’Increase access to WASH and create livelihood opportunity’’ is to show both a case study on the Struggle of Water in the Gorkha region, Nepal and to give an update on the progress in this project so far.
‘’Sayada Bibi, a 65 year old woman is a resident of Gorkha metropolitan city- Finam. Her body structure can be described as thin and skinny. There are wrinkles on her forehead and her hands. Bones can be clearly seen from inside of her skin and she has fully grown her white hair. Carrying water in her Doko (bamboo basket), covered in sweat she came to her house. Resting her Doko on the ground she told," When in life will this day come when you don’t have to carry water no more? My life has passed fetching and carrying water," she exhales.
She along with her husband, 4 sons and a daughter is a family of 7 members. But after their sons split, she is staying with her youngest son. She has a grandson from her youngest son. In order to survive and earn money her youngest son recently left to work in Qatar. She possess a buffalo, a calf, 6 goats and 2 bulls in her livestock. As she is from a very poor family, her main occupation is agriculture. She faces a major problem of drinking water. The water resource is upwards from her house, so she has to climb up the hill to fetch water. Basically it takes around 1 hour to get water but in the winter the waterlevel is very low and she has to wait for turns so it might take 2 to 3 hours to bring water home. For all her family's daily uses such as washing hands, water for livestock, toilet use, cooking, drinking and washing dishes, she has to fetch water 12 to 15 times a day and this process goes on all day long says Sayada Bibi and her husband Senu Bibi with a sad emotion in their faces. For washing clothes and bathing purposes, they have to free up time once a week and go to a distinct river and a whole day is wasted for these purposes.
This is just an example of lack of water resources. A country like Nepal with a mountainous geography has numerous people like Sayada Bibi whose story is yet untold, whose life has passed carrying water, whose skin got wrinkled and hair grown white, whose bones can be seen as if it is going to tear their skin apart and come out. But due to poor economic conditions they cannot migrate to other places. Even with the help of a stick in their old times they struggle for water all day long. It is really a shame for us Nepalese to see our people facing such problems as everybody knows that Nepal is the second richest country in the world for water resources’’.
With the help of Nepal Water for Health (NEWAH), a 6.5m3 Jar is being built in her house to collect the rainwater and they are hopeful that it will reduce their effort for fetching water. This Jar will be one of the 52 jars to be constructed in the area. Four of these are already constructed. Furthermore a 20m3 pond is over 50% of the construction phase. Notably, in line with the WASH principles of this project, the focus is not only on the supply of water via RWH but also on sanitation and hygiene. These latter topics have been discussed in various meetings and trainings in schools, villages and organized by NEWAH in areas of Taple, Finam and Baguwa (Gorkha District). Moreover, staff members of NEWAH have been attending several training sessions on WUMP+3R, the Diamond Business Model organized by HELVETAS and WASH Alliance Nepal (WAN) as well as the AKVO flow training.
Additionally, for the purpose of the holistic use of water and increasing yield, effort has been put into improving the knowledge and use of organic fertilizers for agriculture. This resulted in 19 out of (the target of) 20 people have been trained in the skills of urine collection and its uses. This shows good results on the vegetable farming on household level, of which some of the participants of the training already have sold their first vegetables on the nearer farm.
N.B. special thanks to Binod Sen (Senior Health and Sanitation Facilitator at Rain Foundation Supported Project Gorkha) for his case study on Sayada Bibi.