Mani visits the community

Mani Karmacharya, WaterAid Nepal's Communications Officer, reflects on the situation facing the community at Sajbote Siruwani.

23 Jul 2014

From Hardeni it is a steep three-hour walk to Sajbote Siruwani. The magnificent, hilly landscape and greenery around the area are heart touching.

At first you feel as if you are in a peaceful dreamland, but as you go further and start to learn the reality, it smashes your beautiful illusions.

The struggle for that very basic necessity of life - water - is not easy to accept. But it is a fact here.

Siruwani is a hilly area with a scattered community. The good thing about this place is that the community do not practice open defecation. But while sanitation is satisfactory and toilets are visible, the water problem is at its height.

There are many water sources in the area but they are not properly managed. Those who live on the lower hill have a big problem getting water. They rely on the natural stream, which is open and not protected - I have seen moss, fish and toads in the water.

Debaki at home with her daughter
Debaki with her daughter at home in Sajbote Siruwani.
Credit: WaterAid/Mani Karmacharya

There are two extreme problems in this area. In dry season, the water in the natural stream is not adequate for multiple houses, and as a result people have to queue for hours. While one person fills their pot with water, another might have to wait for an extra half an hour, depending on the water flow in the stream.

Another problem is that, in rainy season, the same water source is contaminated with flooded water and gets muddy and hazy. And since the water source is open and there are no other safety measures, the source can directly be used by cattle and other animals.

With our support, the community have already been progressing in their sanitation practices. So I am very hopeful that, after our project, they will reap even more benefits - which I hope to capture in my next visit.

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