Sweat to Sweet Success: A community’s triumph in bringing water closer to home

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Success Story from the WASH SDG Sub-Programme in Nepal

Sweat to sweet success

For the people living in Kariyapani a small remote village in Nepal, access to water was a big challenge. The only water source near them called Tijupani was a half an hour trek from their village. As you can imagine, this hour-long walk to and from the water source was a daily ritual they desperately wanted to break free from. For several years, the members of this community went to knock on the doors of their local ward office to build a water supply system that directly linked to their village. But financing and budget allocation is a bureaucratic process within the local government and year after year, their request fell on deaf ears.

When our local implementing partner ENPHO was made aware of the situation, we made it a priority to help the community bring drinking water closer to home. Through funding from the WASH SDG programme, we went into a collaborative cost-sharing agreement to provide financial assistance of NPR 100,000 (€715) and technical support for the design and construction of Tijupani water supply scheme. The local ward office contributed an additional NPR 190,000 (€1360), while the community took ownership of its construction. We took a community led project management approach where the beneficiary community members were at the center of the action. This created a sense of ownership towards the water system.

“Even during the peak of summer, we worked hard by clearing the site, digging pipelines, cracking stones, chopping rods, and constructing household taps. Every household's male and female members contributed to the accomplishment of this water supply scheme. We worked day and night for its construction.”
- A local resident of Kariyapani

Big Problems, Easy Solutions

Within one month of this joint-agreement, the construction of a pipeline that directly linked to their home was completed. Sometimes, solutions to big problems can be simplified if the right technical assistance is available, the community is motivated and determined to bring change, and the local government is supportive. Today, the community's life is easier and more enjoyable because women and children are able to save the time otherwise spent fetching water.

“When the first drop of water dropped in my yard through the pipe connection, I almost cried. We could not believe that we had been able to get water on our premises. We had almost given up our hopes of getting piped water connection after trying to get help from almost every stakeholder possible. Drinking water will not be a challenge for us anymore. Our children will not have to spend their time fetching water from Tijupani because Tijupani flows straight to our home.”
- Mr. Lal Bahadur Sunar
Chairperson of the Tijupani Water User Committee

What Next?

To scale up Tijupani water supply system and ensure its long-term functionality, our partner Biruwa is assisting the Water Users committee to determine a fair water tariff structure. This is an important step to ensure the long-term sustainability of the water system. Revenue collected from the water charges will be used for operation and maintenance of the system, and future (re)investment for infrastructure. Additionally, a water treatment plant within the water supply system is also in its planning phase to ensure that every household has access to clean and safe drinking water.

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