Mani meets the community

As Communications Officer for WaterAid Nepal, I was invited to visit Hardeni and meet some of the people involved in the Gahubari project. It is a beautiful and peaceful place. The hills of Nepal have a magnificent natural beauty and I felt like staying there forever.

When I visited, work on the new water system was already underway and I could feel the excitement among the community. But there was also a quiet worry that the system wouldn't work.

In Hardeni the water source is downhill and the community lives at the top of the hill. This presented a challenge for the project staff.

The project coordinator explained to me that the water will be pumped from a tank down the hill to the top of the hill using a micro hydro power system. The same system also provides electricity to the village at night. From there the water will be piped to new taps in the village.

At the moment the community relies on a spring at the bottom of a steep hill for water. I walked with one of the community members, Chet Kumari Basnet, to collect water from the spring and she told me about her daily struggle to get water for her family. She spends hours every day walking up and down the steep hill. The water she collects is often contaminated but her family has no choice but to drink it.

I offered to help Chet carry her water back up the hill. I am young and thought carrying a pot of water would be easy but I was wrong! As soon as I started walking up the steep path I was exhausted. It was so heavy I had to give up half way up the hill. For Chet, carrying two full pots of water is nothing. She does it every day.

My visit to Hardeni and spending time with Chet and other members of her community made me see how much difference the project will make. Not only will it bring safe drinking water to 75 houses in the village, it will relieve the hardship of collecting water every day and free up time for parents, like Chet, to earn a living.

I am excited to see how the project is working in my next visit and to see people's happy expressions.