Water for all
Four newly-installed taps are providing the water-scarce villages of Majhgaun and Kutigaun in Jajarkot district with easy access to drinking water
Up until last year, Dhami Kumari Basnet, 21, would walk half an hour every day from her village of Majhgaun in Pajaru VDC to Bansmul to fetch a pot of water. Dhami Kumari, like others from the villages of Majhgaun and Kutigaun, would wait for her turn at the water spout with her pot in hand, often for more than an hour. Dhami Kumari would then bring back water for her seven-member family. The walk to and from the pond was always especially difficult for Dhami Kumari, as she is blind.
Just 15 years ago, there were plenty of sources of water around the village. But these sources have all gradually dried up, forcing villagers to make the trip to a pond in Bansmul for water.
In June 2014, in partnership with Government of Nepal, UK Aid and European Union, Nepal Climate Change Support Programme (NCCSP) project installed four water taps in Majhgaun and Kutigaun villages, bringing piped water from a source three kilometres away. Now, people like Dhami Kumari don’t have to walk long and wait longer for their water. “These taps have made my life easier,” she professed. The taps have been constructed at a few minutes’ walk from each household, with three taps in Majhgaun for 50 households and one in Kutigaun for 10 households.
As with the construction of the drinking water taps, the NCCSP has been implementing adaptation plans under the Local Adaptation Plan of Action (LAPA) in Pajaru VDC since 2013. Two hundred eighty-five individuals, including 143 women and 60 Dalits, are benefiting from the tap construction. Bir Bahadur Raut, secretary of one of the drinking water user committees, reported that the water is also being used for small-scale irrigation, livestock rearing, and sanitation. Among 60 households, 40 have started to farm vegetables, like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, brinjals, and radish—which has led to increase in nutrition level among the population and freeing up more disposable income which was previously spent on food.
Most importantly, the availability of water has meant that villagers are using toilets and practicing safe sanitation more frequently. This hadn’t been possible earlier due to the lack of water, despite the VDC being declared an Open Defecation Free (ODF) area. Pratham Tiruwa, a local, said, “Though I have a toilet, it was not in use due to a lack of water. Now, with a tap near my house, I use the toilet regularly and am able to keep it clean.”
The water taps have also encouraged people to maintain personal hygiene by facilitating ease of access to bathing and washing of clothes. Alina Raut, 11-years-old and in grade three, said that, “I now bathe at least twice a week and regularly wash my school uniforms.” One of the installed taps is near the Shree Pashupati Lower Secondary School. Three hundred and fifty students now use the tap for drinking water. Earlier, a school peon would have to fetch water from a pond.
The water taps are also aimed at increasing individual’s and community’s resilience to changing climate. People now have sufficient water to meet their daily needs while also engaging in farming and irrigation. The taps, thus, have helped vulnerable villages adapt and build resilience.
- In 2014, the project’s adaptation services through the implementation of over 700 types of priority actions, benefitting over 40,000 individuals.
- Sixty-three percent of these beneficiaries belong to 'most vulnerable' and 'highly vulnerable' groups.
- Implementation of Local Adaptation Plans of Action (LAPA) has generated more than 60,000 person days of employment for climate vulnerable community people.