Nepal

An interview with community member Susmita

4th January 2017

Before Raleigh volunteers finished their work in Chapthok last month they spoke to 19-year-old Susmita about the work in the community around water, sanitation and hygiene, which was funded this cycle by Raleigh International's partner BNP Paribas (Suisse) PA.

What problems do you face in the community?

There are many problems around supply of water. The water from the local water sources is not safe for drinking. There are also problems with access to water.

Houses in the community were damaged during the earthquake and the reconstruction or repair of these homes is an ongoing problem.

susmita-chhinal-4

How was access to safe water changed by the earthquake?

The primary water source is 15 to 20 minutes’ walk away. As many people use the primary water source, we often must wait in a queue for water.  The primary water source dries up for four months in a year. After the earthquake, a water tank was built nearby the primary water source.  The water tank only has a limited supply of water and when the tank is empty, the community must walk to the secondary water source to collect water.  The secondary water source is very far away – a 45-minute walk down hill, then an hour and a half walk back up.

How has this effected your life?

Having to walk a long way to the secondary water source means that less time is available for me to help around the house. Sometimes I need to miss school because of the time it takes to collect water.

The difficulty in accessing water also creates sanitation problems for the village.  For example, there may not be enough water to have regular showers or to wash our hands frequently. We have also experienced shortages of water for agricultural use.

susmita-chhinal-1

What do you think of the young volunteers being in your community?

We like having the young volunteers in the community.  The community is learning about different counties, cultures and languages from the volunteers, and in return the community is teaching the volunteers Nepali culture. The community is happy that people from different countries have come to Nepal to assist them.

The relationship between the young volunteers and the community is very good. The community has found some cultural differences between the venturers from different countries, which is interesting for the community.  The volunteers respect Nepali culture and are keen to learn more about the community. The community members want to learn how to do the tasks that the young volunteers have been doing, so they can continue the work.

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