19th March 2018

How clean water changed the lives of an entire Nepali village

Completed in April 2017, nearly 22 kilometres of pipelines supply 231 tap stands in Yangjakot, located 15 kilometres from the city of Pokhara.

A water project in the village of Yangjakot

Clean water from the project is fed to 215 households, two schools, two temples, six community centres and a health post, as well as various other public buildings. In addition, our programme ensures that all households have their own private toilets.

At a cost of around £110,000, Yangjakot is one of the largest single water projects we’ve undertaken. It was funded by UK Aid from the British people as part of our work as one of DFID’s implementing partners in Nepal.

How the project helped the people

Around 1,350 residents have already seen their lives transformed by the project. The previous water supply had been built in early 1980s. It comprised a few communal tap stands that had deteriorated over time and were not enough for the growing population.

Our projects provide private household supplies, saving up to three hours typically spent queuing and transporting water each day. It also vastly reduces the distance travelled carry heavy loads – a task that usually falls to women and children.

The consistent water supply, combined with labour hours saved, means that villages see an improved economy. They also experience dramatic drops in sickness rates, with waterborne diseases such as dysentery reduced by over 90%, which is also thanks to our hygiene and sanitation education programme.

Gurkha widow Khajawati Gurung

Among the locals benefitting from our project is 87-year-old Khajawati Gurung who lost her husband, World War Two veteran Rifleman Chandra Bahadur Gurung, several years ago.

Gurkha widow Khajawati Gurung

From 1991, Khajawati and Chandra depended on our Welfare Pension to survive in their old age and she continues to receive it since he passed away. She also benefits from regular medical care from our welfare staff in Pokhara.

Khajawati was born in the same house in which she still lives with her son. She remembers a time when Yangjakot only had 40 homes and has watched it grow over her lifetime.

“When I was younger, we used to have to walk far to get our water. It was hard! We had to carry it on our backs.”

“There was only a small source so there was always a race to get there or you would queue for hours. Sometimes we’d have to travel at night for water that wasn’t even clean.”

“Before, the cock-crow would be a signal to start the water race. Now, with this tap stand at my house, it’s so easy. If you’re thirsty, you drink. If you need to wash your clothes, you can. I’m old; I can’t fetch water now. This makes life easy for me.”

“This is a good thing you have done, this water. I’m very happy that you are helping us all. Life is better for everyone now. I don’t know what I can say to those who support this charity. You have done so much for me. Thank you.”

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