Voters from eastern Rukum want to be assured of drinking water

Published On: November 4, 2017 03:01 AM NPT By: GANESH BK

RUKUM, Nov 3: Roads, bridges and hospitals are secondary for them. What they desperately wait for is drinking water. For the locals of eastern part of Rukum district, the candidate who can assure them of easy access to drinking water will win in the upcoming provincial and federal elections. 

“Just like the people of other parts of the country, we do have worries about health, education, roads, power and so on. However, unlike many, we have been facing an acute water problem for ages. We do not have the most basic utility. We collect water with a great deal of difficulty,” said Damodar Sharma, 67, a local of the district headquarters Rukumkot. “The main demand of the people here has always remained easy access to drinking water. So, we are going to vote for those who are likely to resolve this problem,” he added. 

According to Sharma, even in earlier elections, the same agenda was highlighted both by public and leaders. However, the problem hasn't been resolved. 

“Now, this time, whoever asks for our votes, I directly ask them back whether they know what we want. I want very solid commitment,” he said. 

Voters from the market area echo his voice. They say they are going to back the candidates who are familiar with the people's real problems. According to Shiva Kumar Shahi of Raaschhura area, the lack of town planning amid ever growing size of human settlement in the market area as well in entire eastern part of the district is further worsening the water crisis. Though there are taps in people's house, only few get water from them. “We get water from Raaschhura Drinking Water Project. However, the supply is too less than the demand,” he said, “The town is expanding without proper plan and facilities.”

Locals of the villages and towns of the eastern part invest over two hours on an average everyday just to fetch drinking water, according to Shahi. “Depending on the location, some have to spend up to four hours to get to a water source,” he stated. 

Shovakar Poudel of Chhipridaha - 6 stated that Rukum remains one of the most neglected districts. The government has not done anything serious to address the people's woes, he said. “We have been facing this water problem for ages now. But the leaders appear here only during elections. They are simply not aware of the ground realities here,” he fumed. “This time also we are voicing for the same thing. The same agenda. Let's see,” he added. 

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