On top of the world
March 14, 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 Nepal, 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 trails. Drinking water was scarce, incredibly difficult to carry, and frequently made people sick.

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 faucets for the first time!

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

Lives transformed

Chet Kumari Basnet is a mother of two. Several times a day, she used to make an hour-long trip 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 wait in the water line and miss school. She says our hardship has come to an end.

“If you ask me, the best thing about having water is taking a bath regularly, which was not possible before. Taking a bath at a 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 water system installed by the community together with WaterAid's local partners. The mountainous terrain that once made water collection so difficult has been harnessed to make it easy. Water flows from a protected spring into a reservoir tank, which then feeds a network of tapstands dotted across the village.

The WaterAid project in Gahubari is still active, with plans to upgrade sanitation facilities in the village and promote 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.