Nepal WASH Blog Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) & Development in Nepal

March 22, 2011

Climbing out of poverty

Filed under: Anita Pradhan's Post,Rural — Anita Pradhan @ 11:23 am
The small village of Neupane Gaun lies nestled in the foothills in Nepal. The beauty of the surroundings hides the poverty felt here, made worse by the lack of access to safe, clean water.
Many villagers have left Neupane Gaun looking for work, but Kabita (pictured here) and the others who remained were drinking water that put their lives at risk.

Kabita collecting water from the new tapstand near her home in Neupane Gaun.

“I used to wake up early in the morning around 4am just to collect water. It was very dark and I was always scared about slipping and falling down the hill. It used to take two hours for a round trip to collect the water.”

If there was no one to help her, Kabita would have to make this backbreaking trip five times a day to collect water for her family which she knew wasn’t safe. Spending 10 hours a day collecting water on steep and slippery mountain paths meant that she had no time to work and little time to care for her children.

“We used to risk our lives just to collect a bucket of water,” said Nawa Raj Meupane, the first Water Committee Chairman in Neupane Gaun.

Thanks to support from people like you, Kabita’s village now has a gravity flow scheme that brings clean water from high mountain springs through pipes and into storage tanks. Lower down, a distribution system provides Cabita and Nawa with a nearby tap, providing safe, clean water right outside their homes.

“I felt like I had climbed Mount Everest when we first turned the taps on,” Nawa said. “We had done great work. It was like a dark day which became full of light.”

We are looking for your help in setting up more of these schemes in some of the poorest communities around the world. Combined with sanitation and hygiene education, safe water can transform every aspect of people’s lives and help them climb out of poverty.

Clean water can change people’s lives in every way. Knowing what clean water can do – not only saving lives, but giving whole communities hope for the future.

Kabita used to carry dangerously heavy loads of water for long distances up the steep mountain paths.

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