Celebrating turning on the taps in Baraguan, Nepal

Thumbnail WaterAid/Mani Karmacharya

Imagine if your town shut all the schools to turn on a tap and then asked the oldest person living there to pour a glass of water in front of the whole community.

Gaining access to clean water is truly a life-changing moment. And thanks to your incredible support, the people of Baraguan in western Nepal can now celebrate turning on their tap for the very first time – and look forward to a healthier, more prosperous future.

Mani Karmacharya, WaterAid’s Voices from the Field officer in Nepal, travelled to the stunningly beautiful and isolated village to enjoy this momentous occasion with the local community.

Watch the celebrations in Baraguan and read Mani's story below:

Mani's story

After a flight from Kathmandu and a lot of driving, the walk to Baraguan would take around five hours.

When visiting rural areas, walking is not normally a big issue for me as it gives me the chance to capture beautiful scenery along the way. The path wasn’t very steep for about three and a half hours but after then a team from WaterAid’s local partners, KIDARC, and I had to climb the hill, which was very difficult with our bags.

But the closer we got to the village, the more amazing views we were able to see. It actually took me longer to walk as I was taking so many photos and videos – the scenery was so mind-blowing I forgot all about how tired I was!

After walking for five and half hours, I arrived in Baraguan at around 5.30pm and I could see the joy on the community’s faces as they were preparing for the big celebration the next morning.

The morning of the ceremony it felt like a big festival was taking place at the village – they had even closed the school so the local children could join the celebrations.

ThumbnailWaterAid/Mani Karmacharya

The new tap was opened by the oldest man in the village who is 84 years old, and the community played traditional music to welcome the arrival of clean water.

After the ceremony, local women performed a traditional dance with a song called Deuda that is very popular in western Nepal.

To bid us farewell, the village presented me with a Khata – a ceremonial scarf that symbolises purity and compassion – and walked back with us halfway down the beautiful path, helping us with our bags.

On my way back to Kathmandu, my colleagues and I were all talking about the opening ceremony and how happy the people of Baraguan are to see clean water running from the taps.

Find out more about our Voices from the Field network >