August 2, 2017 02:16 AM NPT
By: Bira Gadal
BAITIDI, August 2: More than 200 households of Pancheshwar Rural Municipality-1 off Baitadi are compelled to spend half their day fetching drinking water as water crisis deepens in the remote part of the district. All the water sources in the rural municipality have dried up reported the y in lack of periodic maintenance.
Every morning locals have to walk 300 meters downhill to collect water. And they have to stand in a long queue for the water. By the time they return home with a vessel of water, it is already afternoon.
The villages including Lek, Paladi and Dhungrikhan have been facing acute water crisis in recent years.
"We walk for an hour and then queue up for another one hour to fetch water, twice a day," Prem Singh Ghatal, a local. If the Mahakali River was nearby we could drink that water, he said pointing at the river.
A drinking water project started in the district in the 1990s is in a sorry state in lack of maintenance.
There is only one tap that is still functional in Lek village. Around 50 villagers use the tap and the rest have to trek for long distance for water.
Even as the Poverty Alleviation Fund and Women's and Children's Organizations repaired all the taps in the three villages two years ago, all but the one in Lek village are dysfunctional.
Even the health posts and ward offices are reeling under shortage of drinking water.
"The demand for water is increasing but not enough funds have been allocated for increasing the supply of water," said Krishna Singh Ghatal, a technical assistant at the rural municipality.
The newly-elected mayor of the rural municpality, Gorakh Bahadur Chand, however said that his office is planning to repair the existing drinking water taps and also launching new ones.
The Remote Drinking Water Source Management Project is in the process of implementation in coordination with the District Development Committee. Under the project, the water from the Kulau Riiver will be distributed in the villages. But the project's implementation has become uncertain due to dispute among the villages over sharing the water, informed Krishna Singh Ghatal, a local resident.