Published On: January 5, 2019 06:40 PM NPT By: Renu Twanabasu

Water scarcity drags women to rivers

Water scarcity drags women to rivers

Water scarcity drags women to rivers

No matter how cold the winter gets, it hardly stops women at Bhaktapur from carrying out their daily washings in the rivers. An acute scarcity of clean water in the area has bound them to gather every morning at different riversides.

The locals face this problem every winter, when their taps run dry. They are compelled to buy water jars for daily consumption and use river water to carry out the daily cleanings.

Ram Pyari Suwal, a local of Bhaktapur, witnesses the old trends being practiced these days. She says, “We used to get surprised when older generation fetched water from rivers for various household uses. The trend is gradually reversing now”.

“The trend back then was a common practice as they did not have facilities like water taps in their houses. However, people now are compelled to follow the older practices because they don’t have any other choice,” adds Suwal.

One of the other locals of Bhaktapur, Riya Kawa shares that such practices have been an obligation for the locals. “The main problem is the scarcity of drinking water. The tap-water we collect is only sufficient for drinking. River water further fulfills our common needs like sanitation.”

Likewise, Subhadra Bohaju expresses that she has been visiting Brahmayani River to wash her clothes. She walks up to the river every week. “Since it is not forbidden to wash clothes in the river, women from the locality especially visit the river on Saturdays to carry out their works.”

Many rivers flow in the area. However, Brahmayani River has been a common source for the locals. It is because the river is cleaner as compared to other rivers that are polluted in the area.

Buddha Lakshmi Koju shares that two years ago, the river was polluted. This prevented locals from using the water resource. However, after the municipality prevented sewages to pollute the river, the locals restarted using the river for different purposes.

Despite the rising demand of drinking water in many areas of Bhaktapur, KUKL (Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited) has not been able to meet the demands of the locals. According to the statistics of KUKL, Bhaktapur has a demand of eight million liters of water per day. However,  KUKL has so far been able to provide only three million liters per day in the area.


Translated by Sonam Lama

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