October 16, 2019
It was in 1995, when the Kiratikhola community from Rapti Municipality-11, Chitwan, Nepal built their first drinking water system through support of District Drinking Water Office, Chitwan. Lack of technical knowledge and financial resources gradually prevented proper maintenance and repair of the system. Somehow the system was in partial functioning, but the earthquake 2015 hit the system so hard that it could no longer give its services.
Women and children are responsible for bringing water for household purpose which makes them more vulnerable and affected through the problems arises from water scarcity. In average, it takes about 20 minutes to fetch a container (20 liters) of water from available local streams and waterfalls. During monsoon, the stream water even gets polluted and people get sick from waterborne diseases such as cholera and diarrhea every year. The blissful faces of marginalized communities from Kiratikhola still smile everyday facing difficulty to access clean drinking water.
The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) project “Improving the Well-Being of the Marginalized Communities of Kiratikhola” is largely being supported by CFP Green Buildings, the Netherlands. In addition, the Unica Foundation bears the partial cost of the project. Santi Griha Nepal (SGN) is implementing it from May 2019 which has become a hope for those smiles aiming for providing access to safe drinking water, improved nutrition and better health and hygiene practices in order to improve the quality of life for marginalized, indigenous and tribal communities in the remote hilly region of Kiratikhola.
“Development of community infrastructure” for providing safe drinking water and construction of 18 toilets and “people empowerment program” for initiating community empowerment to supplement the drinking water project by promoting healthy and ecological living, personal hygiene practices and improvement of kitchen gardening are major components of the project targeting 45 households of 266 marginalized group of Chepangs and Tamangs.
About 15% of the work has been completed and community people are excited with the vigorously ongoing project activities. Regular visits, monitoring and supervision of the project by SGN and on-site technical expertise followed by support of the Unica Foundation is elevating the marginalized communities of Kiratikhola towards healthy and improved lives.