Jureli villagers in Jajarkot reel under drinking water crisisAround 150 Dalit and Janajati families of Jureli in Tribeni Nalgadh Municipality-1 of Jajarkot district are reeling under acute water crisis.
Bhim Bahadur Singh
Around 150 Dalit and Janajati families of Jureli in Tribeni Nalgadh Municipality-1 of Jajarkot district are reeling under acute water crisis.
With water sources not available in their vicinity, they have long been dependant on rainwater collected in a pond. Villagers have to walk for half an hour to fetch water from the pond.
The 15 by 10 metre pond is two metres deep and serves as a source of water both for humans and cattle.
The village lies at the altitude of 2,000 meters.
“The water is polluted and we are at risk of contracting diseases,” said Bir Bahadur Pariyar of the village. “But we don’t have any other option. This is the only source of water for the villagers here.”
Until two years ago, Jureli locals used to walk for about two hours to fetch water from Jugeni where there used to be a natural source of water. But it has dried up now, said Pariyar.
A little more than 500 people live in the village, which is three hours’ walk from Khalanga.
Locals say development projects hardly reach the village. Political party leaders who come and make promises during elections never bother to return to see us, the villagers said.
Dudhkali Gharti of the village said her family has been facing a tough time. “At least one family member is always busy carrying water and filtering it,” she said.
Maheshi Mahato, chief engineer of the Drinking Water and Sanitation Sub Division Office, said he has sought budget from the department to construct a drinking water project for Jureli villagers this fiscal year. “Water has to be brought from Dinga lake which is 16 kilometres from Jureli area,” said Mahato.
“We have long been demanding that authorities manage drinking water for us, but to no avail. Until a drinking water project is constructed here, we have to depend on the polluted water of the pond,” said a villager.