The village of Bhawang is home to 45 families …It is extremely remote and is a 12 hour drive from our nearest Welfare Centre in Butwal, and 36 hours from our Headquarters in Pokhara.
Located in the district of Rolpa, the village sits in one of the most isolated parts of Nepal. As a result, bringing water there posed some considerable difficulties.
Over a decade ago, another organisation attempted to build a water project for Bhawang, consisting of three communcal taps. Unfortunately the taps they built did not work all year round, meaning villagers would have to walk for hours to collect potentially dirty water from communal wells and other sources during the dry season.
How we were able to make it happen
Watch our video to see what happened when we brought clean water to Bhawang:
Following a request for help, we built separate taps for each of the 45 families’ homes, providing clean water to everybody in the village.
Before we began gathering materials and building the pipes and taps, we provided met with the community to provide an education on sanitation and tips on how to keep the water source free of contamination and prevent the spread of disease.
The training also included small changes around the community including waste management and the construction of proper pens for domestic animals ensuring no cross-contamination.
At first, people were unsure about our new drinking water system; if their current system of three taps didn’t work, then how were we going to be able to build 45?
To empower the community to take responsibility for their own project after our team leave, we set up a village committee, including a Chairperson, Secretary and a Village Hygiene Worker. Having a committee in this way will help ensure the project is sustainable.
Mr Khadga Bahadur Chhetri, the village committee Chairperson for Bhawang reflected:
“When construction began, villagers were sceptical about the project. But their doubts disappeared once the taps were complete and the water was running.”
The villagers are delighted to have access to clean water at their fingertips. They’re incredibly grateful to the Trust and to Jersey Overseas Aid, who funded the project.
Mrs Gothi Khatri, a mother from the village, is particularly appreciative of the quality of our work:
“We are getting fresh water even in this dry season, I hadn’t imagined this was possible. There is enough water to drink, wash and maintain cleanliness around the house.
My daughter Rupa suffered a head injury when she was nine resulting in her being mentally impaired. She cannot use her right hand properly and I need to look after her all the time.
Before, we had to walk about 30 mins downhill and walk back an hour uphill to fetch water and I used to be worried as I had to leave her home unattended.
Now, I don’t have to worry because the water is right in my doorstep.”
Four years ago, eight-year-old Susmita’s father moved to Malaysia for work. The project has changed Susmita and her mother’s lives:
“My mother works the land and is not home during most of the daytime, I have to help her do the house chores so it is wonderful to have clean water right next to our house.”
Dinisha, who is also eight years old has more time to focus on her school work:
“I can now do my studies as well as help my Mum do house chores. The water tap near our house means we don’t need to spend time in fetching water but instead I have more time for studies.”
Mrs Nandakali Dangi is using the water to grow vegetables to feed her family:
“I have my husband, two sons and two daughters in the family. My elder son is abroad earning a living.
The Gurkha Welfare Trust’s water system has provided me with enough water to grow vegetables on my land. I can sell the surplus vegetables in the village.”
Mother of two, Mrs Rupmali Dangi no longer has to bring her young children on dangerous journeys:
“My husband has gone to Malaysia and I have an 8-year-old son (Kushal) and a 2-year-old daughter (Bhumika).
In the past, my daughter was small, I could not leave her alone in the house, so I used to carry my baby, walk half an hour, collect water and carry them both back uphill for an hour. Now I don’t have to, I have a tap right in front of my house.”
Help us bring clean water to Nepal
In Nepal people die needlessly of preventable water borne diseases. 3.5 million people lack access to basic water services.
We provide access to clean water and some simple education, which can change the lives of whole communities.