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Shankar's story

Shankar Basnet is a farmer in Hardeni where he lives with his wife and eight children. He has also been selected as a caretaker for the Gahubari project and has been involved in laying the pipes and some of the plumbing work. He is pleased with the progress of the project.

"In the beginning, I thought how could water flow from a tap when the water source is downhill. This was hard to believe not only for me but also for many people in this village. Now the construction is almost at the end, I have started believing that this will work. Let’s hope the water will flow soon."

At the moment Shankar's family take it in turns to collect water from a spring further down the hill. It takes an hour to reach and someone has to make the trip several times a day to collect enough water for the whole family. They also need water for their cattle and crops.

"Because it takes so long to collect the water we have to use it very carefully and cannot maintain hygiene properly. The water is from a natural spring so we cannot always say it is clean. Sometimes it is muddy and hazy. We use a cloth to filter it but I know even though the water looks clear, it is not safe to drink. But we have no other option, we have to use it."

Shankar's children are often ill and he has to pay up to seven thousand rupees a month for treatments. Bringing safe drinking water to the village will help to keep his children healthy and the money he spends on treatments can be used for school fees and to buy new clothes.

"If we have easy access to water, we will have lots of benefits. The most crucial thing is that we can drink safe clean water. We will not have to walk long distance carrying heavy water pots and we can grow green vegetables in our farm. Life would be much easier.

We spend almost six hours a day fetching water. This precious time could be used on our farm to produce more. It could give us more time to take care of the cattle and more time for household chores. I hope our health will also improve."