World Water Day: “I am proud to help improve water for my community”

22nd March 2018

 
“I have lived in Rampur my whole life. My three sons have left the village, but I live here with my wife. I have a small furniture shop and I am a carpenter. I make doors, beds, chairs, tables – I try to make whatever my customers ask for. This and my small vegetable patch helps me and my family make a living.”
Chandra makes a living as a carpenter while supporting the community in the Water User Committee
“I never used to hold any posts in the community, but since the village asked me to be their leader of the Water User Committee, I am now always thinking of how I can solve the water problems we have in Rampur.” The Water User Committee is made up of elected representatives in the community and is responsible for managing the community water supply.
Chandra discusses the progress of the project with Raleigh volunteers
“We’re responsible for distributing water across the community and maintaining essential water infrastructure like pipes and tanks. We are always trying to improve water for our community. Eventually we would love there to be a household water supply for every home in Rampur, so that they will not have to use public supplies.” It’s not an easy job to manage water in Rampur. Since community water tanks were damaged in the 2015 earthquake, water has been much less reliable and the community often go through periods of water shortage. Chandra said:
“Yesterday the water failed to come on in the community because the current water tank failed. Most of the villagers had to leave their household chores, collecting grass for the cattle and sending their children to school on time. Everyone in the village had to rush to the river to collect water. This happens two or three times each month because the water tank is damaged.”
Raleigh volunteers are constructing a new water tank to support the community
Raleigh volunteers are working in Rampur to construct a new water tank which will improve water access in the community. For Chandra, with the progress of this project, the future’s looking bright. “In the coming future, we hope that the problem of water is solved after we have finished building the new 8000 litre water reserve tank with Raleigh International. We are very happy with the national and international volunteers, and would love to work alongside them as if we were brothers and sisters. We feel really encouraged to provide as much help as we can to the Raleigh team on this project, and we are hopeful that after this project the supply of water will be sufficient.”
After the completion of the project, water access will be easier for those in Rampur
As leader of the Water User Committee, managing water can feel like a big weight to carry. But together with the people of Rampur, Chandra is dedicated to helping his community. “Everyone supports me in Rampur, not only because I am the chairperson of the Water User Committee, but because I am a member of Rampur. I am someone’s father, uncle and son here, and we are all part of one family. I am proud to help improve water for my community”. Water User Committees are a vital part of the increased community participation in the sustainable management of local water facilities. During 2017, eight water user committees were formed and registered through the generous financial support of our corporate partner BNP Paribas (Suisse) SA.
Water scarcity impacts everyday life for people living in Rampur, and according to the UN, 1.9 billion people worldwide face water scarcity like this every day. This World Water Day, Raleigh Expedition volunteers in Nepal are continuing to improve access to water for people in rural communities in Gorkha. We are so proud to make a difference with water, today and every day.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Raleigh Expedition Nepal