Laughter rang out in Nepal as clean water rained down on Amrauli Village
By: Josh Anderson –
Some of the most extreme landscapes in the world are etched into the country of Nepal. Massive mountain ranges soar up to the sky and vast valleys plummet for miles below. The treacherous terrain is challenging enough, and yet the Nepali people also weather intense natural disasters including monsoon rains, earthquakes, landslides, and droughts.
All of this has led to a beautiful result: resolve and innovation.
Tucked away in the lowlands of the Chitwan District of the Bagmati Province, 173 households with a total population of 865 reside in this small cluster of one or two-story adobe and timber homes.
While the landscape is often treacherous, the women of the Amrauli community are accustomed to navigating this land. Trekking for upwards of two hours a day to collect water for their families, this time-consuming necessity required completion before tackling other daily household chores. Providing water for their families left no time for educational or economic opportunities.
That was then. Today, water is easily accessible to the Amrauli community. With a solar pump and tap stands, the community enjoys clean, safe, accessible water for individuals and families alike with a twist of the handle. Many still remember how laughter rang out as refreshing water exploded from deep underground with geiser-like pressure as it rained down all around them. At that moment, the community recognized that they were being showered with fresh opportunities for innovation and change.
But, this story goes beyond water.
For Geeta Mahato and the other women of Amrauli, their days were transformed. Now, Geeta and her neighbors focus on establishing new goals in different avenues of life rather than collecting water. Geeta has started gathering and selling fish at the local market with the help of the Micro-Income Generating Revolving Fund.
A new development for the Amrauli project, this revolving fund was established to offer loans at affordable rates to members who paid into this account. Additionally, the funds are spent or invested with the condition that repayments or income from the fund is used again.
After almost a year, employment opportunities for Amrauli have impacted nearly all of the households including Geeta’s, The fund increased business opportunities, especially among women, who are now actively involved in fisheries, poultry, and pork production. Children are healthier, too. Now, they attend school with fewer absences due to water-borne illnesses. Even the animals they raise are benefiting from the new water source.
From inception, the revolving fund began so 40 families could take ownership in income-generating activities like poultry farming, fish farming, pig farming, and kitchen gardening. Collectively, the community has generated nearly $1,500 for new emerging opportunities.
As time and resources open up, this community's resolve and strength for innovation is responsible for establishing livelihoods that will help the community flourish and thrive for generations.
Both Wine To Water Nepal and the partners and initiators of this project, the Rotary Club Londonderry and the Rotary Club Narayangarh, monitor progress. Members of the Wine To Water staff remain in contact with important community members in the area including Hema Chaudhari. A Social Mobilizer for Wine To Water, Hema worked with the community before the water project was installed. Her job was to find people willing to join the cause and advocate for the new system. By communicating with the local leaders, Wine To Water Nepal and the Rotary Club chapters continue monitoring the progress of the programs and their impact.
Since building the community water system, the households of Amrauli village have access to high-quality safe drinking water treated by decentralized solar-powered water purification systems and have access to a one-house one-tap system at their doorstep. It is a small step to address the Nepal government’s approach of providing a higher service level of water access (treated water at the doorstep) to 27% of the total population of Nepal by 2030. Each household has one water tap making up 151 water taps and 2 taps in a public school in total. The total number of beneficiaries of the project is 865. Progress continues through the Micro-Generating Fund, explained in the article above.