Safe drinking water and sanitation project

Since the completion in 2009 of the planned water projects – There has been a plan to build a water tower, to supply 20,000 village inhabitants with an ‘inside tap’ (1,765 households). Hari and his dedicated team have entered into long and complex negotiations with the VDC elders, Government authorities and Major Grant agencies (Asian Development Bank) to ensure that Meghauli ‘won’ the race to become the recipient of the Second Small Town Water Supply and Sanitation Project. On Oct 3, 2012 the Government announced the news they had all been waiting for. Meghauli had been chosen, and an invitation to bid for the Meghauli Town Water Supply and Sanitation Project was published in the National paper. The prospect of having running water in every house brought happiness to Meghauli! WELL DONE HARI. On the 19 January 2013, work started by drilling a test bore hole on the site.

This is scheduled for completion within two years. We aim through this project to deliver running water to most households in Meghauli VDC. 6 wards out of the 9 ward Meghauli VDCs (Village Development Community) of Chitwan district should benefit from this scheme.

The office building, underground reservoir and overhead water tank are close to being finished, and the pipeline (distribution length of 56019 meters) is due to be constructed this year (2013/2014). A large sum of money has been donated by Clinic Nepal in order to bring to action this grand plan with a huge potential benefit. Management of the project is the responsibility of the Meghauli Water Project Committee consisting of local people, we continue to monitor the facilities to ensure the project runs efficiently and effectively.

The development of the water supply has beyond doubt been one of the most influential changes to the district in terms of improving the health and wellbeing of its residents. However, whilst the wells and pumps are currently still providing lifesaving safe water to thousands of people, there are signs that the long-term efficacy of this scheme in 10, 20 or 50 years’ time, is in jeopardy. This is because of a number of unforeseen problems. A handful of wells have begun to dry-up as a combined result of both an unstable natural water source due to the land and climate, and an imperfect well depth because they were built manually, as using drills was unaffordable. During the installation of the pumps, a very small number of water sources were found to have arsenic and iron levels above World Health Organization recommendations. This poses a serious long-term health risk because it is likely that these levels will worsen over time. Ultimately, the most secure way to ensure a sustainable safe drinking water supply for everybody long-term is by installing plumbing to every home; and this is where the water project comes in.

Just because we are going to supply the water, the teaching must continue to reap the benefits - The majority of children in Meghauli and the nearby villages eat poor quality food and drink water known to contain disease. The implication of this multiplies the visits to the clinic and uses up the valuable resources, but lack of understanding on the part of the parents ensures the problem continues to grow. The solution is for Health Education being introduced into the schools. The schools are very supportive of the work done by the Clinic in overcoming the lack of understanding of the children and parents in health and, hence, educational matters. Instilling basic health education at grass root level also ensures that the children receive at least one nutritious meal per day; the local Health Visitor continuously monitors standards. At the same time monthly meetings are held with the parents to air current concerns and educate them about health, personal hygiene and disease.

Investment - 5% of the total cost of the project will be shared amongst the 1765 households (HH), however they have calculated that 30% of the HH will be unable to pay their share of the 5%. A letter explaining the nature of the deficit (poor and marginalised families) has been sent to Asian Development Bank (ADB) and they have agreed to 'pay the 30%'. Once connected to the water grid, all families will HAVE to pay for their usage, irrespective of Caste.

10,000,000 rupees have been collected (Clinic Nepal has donated 4,000,000 rupees, and the User Group committee have collected 6,500,000 rupees). Each HH is to pay 9100 rupees. Those who have not paid before the agreement had been reached will have to pay 9700 rupees on completion of the project – in 3 years time.

50% of the project has been paid for by the ADB 5% of the project is paid by the Users 30% of the project is paid for by the Towns Development Fund (TDF) (as a loan) 15% of the project is paid for by User labour**
** Due to the inconsistency of the User labour, this 15% have also been loaned from the TDF
The loan is paid back monthly within 20 years. The TDF has agreed interest at 5% of the outstanding loan at the end of the financial year.
Total cost of the project – Rs 174,208,899.44 (£1.3 million) exchange rate Rs130 = £1