Settlements in Salyan reel under acute shortage of waterAround 10,000 households in the district do not have access to water supply, according to the Water Supply, Irrigation and Energy Development Office.
Every year during the dry season, residents of several settlements in Salyan district have to live with an acute shortage of drinking water.
Around 150 families at Maidu village in Bangadkupinde Municipality-9 rely on natural springs to meet their water needs.
“The villagers face a shortage of water for eight months a year. That has been the reality for us for the past 20 years,” said 45-year-old Bimala Roka of the village. “Every morning, we wake up early so we can fill our buckets from a nearby stream.”
Seventeen years ago, the then District Development Committee in Salyan had initiated a drinking water project for the residents of Maidu. However, the much-anticipated project that aimed to bring water from a nearby stream to the settlement is yet to be completed.
“The project faced technical difficulties given the rough terrain of the site. Authorities say that the chances of the project being completed are slim,” Meghraj Sunar, a Maidu local, told the Post.
Roka says it’s the women who have to bear the burden of managing water for their entire households.
“The men go out to earn money and leave us women to manage the household. Women in our village are tired, exhausted and sleep deprived, as we have to wake up in the middle of the night to fetch water,” Roka said.
Residents of Chotre, a village in Kalimati Rural Municipality-1, have similar complaints. The villagers have been struggling with water scarcity for the past 15 years.
“We use rainwater for household purposes in the wet season. But for the rest of the year, we struggle to manage water,” said Mamata Khadka, a resident of Chotre.
According to her, the scarcity of water has forced most villagers to stop using their toilets which in turn has given rise to open defecation.
“We have toilets in the house but we can’t use them because we don’t have water,” said Khadka. “We are also facing problems to rear animals or keep livestock. We see no end to this water problem.”
According to the data available at the Water Supply, Irrigation and Energy Development Office, a total of around 9,700 households in Salyan are deprived of water supply. Padam Raj Devkota, the chief at the office, said that only 36,600 out of 46,300 families have access to drinking water facilities in the district.
“The local residents have been forced to drink water from rivers and streams which is adversely affecting their health,” said Devkota.
According to the Water Supply, Irrigation and Energy Development Office, 44 drinking water projects are in the pipeline in the district at an estimated budget of Rs 650 million.
“Around 5,000 households will benefit after the competition of these projects,” said Devkota. “These projects should be completed within the next two years.”