On top of the world 14 March 2014

Until yesterday, daily existence in Gahubari, Nepal, was literally an uphill struggle. Today, however, is a big day of change.

Here in the mountains in the east of the country, people used to spend four or five hours every day collecting dirty water from streams and springs; carrying heavy containers for miles along perilously steep paths. Water was scarce, incredibly difficult to fetch, and made people ill on a regular basis.

The big moment

Today, work has finished on a gravity-flow water system that brings a sustainable supply of safe, clean water to the heart of the village, reaching 75 households. Days like this would not be possible without the generosity of WaterAid supporters. Watch the moment the villagers turn on the taps for the first time!

Having safe, clean water close to home will have a huge impact on people’s lives. Long, dangerous walks for water are now a thing of the past. Sickness will be reduced, women will now have the time to earn a living and help maintain the household, and children will be able to go to school and build brighter futures.

Lives transformed

29 year old Chet Kumari Basnet is a mother of two. Several times a day, she used to have to walk an hour to collect unsafe water from a stream. She was often still fetching water at midnight. "My life has completely changed,” she says. “My daughter is very happy as she does not have to be in the water queue and miss school. She says our hardship has come to an end.

“If you ask me the best thing about having easy water accessibility, it is taking a bath regularly, which was not possible before. Taking a bath at the public place, far from home is so awkward and embarrassing that I cannot express in words. I am clean, I feel fresh and energetic. I feel I am more beautiful than before.”

Mountainous challenges overcome

Similar stories are being told in 75 households in Gahubari, thanks to the gravity-flow system installed by the community together with our local partners. The extreme landscape that once made water collection so difficult has been harnessed to make it easy. Water is pumped from a protected spring into a reservoir tank which then feeds tapstands dotted across the village.

See for yourself how the technology works in this poster >

The project in Gahubari is ongoing, upgrading sanitation facilities in the village and promoting good hygiene practices. In Nepal and in 25 other countries worldwide, we are working to reach people desperately in need of safe water, sanitation and hygiene so they too can celebrate the day when life changes forever and feel on top of the world.