GORKHA, Dec 15: “At a time when we were having severe drinking water crisis, an INGO entered our village and promised to build water taps to rid us from the crisis. Our happiness knew no bounds at that time,” recalled Karna Prasad Paudel, a local of Bahuntar, Palungtar-1 in Gorkha district. “Now if we meet those representatives of the INGO again, all of the villagers will unite and chase them away.”
Before Paudel could finish his talks, another local, Nawaraj Bhandari, added, “Let's see how those people dare to show us their faces now.” The reason for their anguish - the INGO not only failed to live up to its promises, but also destroyed the existing taps, worsening the situation instead.
The INGO - World Vision International - not just deceived a handful of people, but as many as 35 households of Bahuntar, no wonder they expressed deep resentment.
Last July, World Vision International with its local partner, Ekikaran Nepal Gorkha, assured the locals of the project. The project did commence, but the project was abandoned before it could be completed. The water tank constructed by those organizations cannot store water. At present, there is no trace of Ekikaran Gorkha in the village as its members are absconding. The project's main donor, World Vision International didn't care at all.
Not only were the locals disappointed by the incomplete project, they were, and still are, very much disappointed by the destruction of the then existing water taps. “With even the existing taps now dysfunctional, water crisis has only deepened in the village. With these taps destroyed, our daily life has been very difficult,” added Bhandari, who is also a local teacher.
World Vision had also announced to construct nine water projects in Palungtar, Gainkhur, Appipal, Chyangli, and Hanshapur. Out of those nine projects, they have completed only three. The rest of these projects suffer similar fate although all these projects were supposed to be completed a month ago.
Meanwhile, Krishna Shahi, coordinator of Gorkha chapter of World Vision International, said they have just selected a new local partner to resume their works in those settlements. However, nobody knows when the work will resume. “We have already reached an agreement with the new local partner. The work is in progress,” he added. Shahi claimed that the project could not be completed in time as 'we terminated the agreement with the previous partner'.
Divisional office of the Department of Water Supply and Sanitation (DWSS) said they have informed the INGO to immediately complete its drinking water projects in the district.
“We instructed them to complete their projects as soon as possible, or face legal action,” said DWSS's divisional chief Ratna Lamichhane.