Source of drinking water constructed in Pateni in Dhadhing. Photo: Sarita Shrestha/Republica
DHADING, June 21: Shortage of drinking water used to be a perennial problem for the locals of Nilkantha Municipality ward no 5, Pateni in Dhadhing district. In fact, they had been battling with this problem since years. Villagers here had to walk a long way to fetch water that too from small ponds. This is the reason why locals here have to spend most of their time climbing up and getting down the steep hills just to fetch water.
Radhika Dhungana of Pateni used to wake up as early as 4 o'clock in the morning and stand in a queue to fetch water.
"If we didn't wake up early and stood in queue we couldn't get water," said Dhungana, adding, "We had to put aside all other important works to fetch two jars of water a day."
She laments that she barely got to sleep due to the pressure of waking up early for fetching water. Especially the women had to go through this ordeal carrying utensils in one hand and their children on the other. Their children never got to school on time due to this reason.
However, their miseries have finally come to an end, thanks to the efforts of a non-governmental organization called Service for Peace. These days, all the locals of Pateni have drinking water taps in their homes.
"We had never expected that it will be possible to have drinking water taps in all of our homes," said Dhungana, adding, "Now we have enough time to tend to our crops and for other works."
Currently, the villagers are supplied with water from a drinking water source down the village through lifting method. A total budget of Rs 4.5 million was collected from various organizations, the local body and villagers for the project. There are altogether 64 households in Pateni.
Shivahari Adhikari, principal of a local school, informed that students have started attending their classes regularly since the completion of the project.
"Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene in school was difficult earlier in lack of water but now we have no such problem," said Adhikari. Four child-friendly taps were constructed in the school recently.
Villagers can fetch water for 1 hour in the morning and evening. A drinking Water Consumers Committee and a Repair and Maintenance Fund have been formed by the locals to ensure the sustainability of the project. The money in the fund is used to pay the salaries of the staff and for repair and maintenance, according to Govinda Dhungana, chairperson of the committee.