“We were compelled to drink dirty water, it was frustrating to take care of our health and manage for frequent medical treatments of family members. Now we are relieved from these woes, as we have access to clean drinking water and learned to live a healthy life. The improved situation has enhanced our confidence and now we are sure not to lose our children as we had lost our parents prior due to poor water quality and improper sanitation," states Jeet Bahadur Shrestha, fetching water from newly constructed water tap.
40 year old Jeet Bahadur living at the rural village of Bahuntilpung VDC ward no. 4 in Sindhuli district had lost his parents in the early days of his life in lack of safe drinking water and proper sanitation. Jeet’s eyes still wet upon recalling the reasons behind his father’s and mother’s death. His father was not able to get off from the bed and ultimately died after two years when he had fall off a sloppy surface while defecating openly and mother died while suffering from diarrhoea. Jeet’s poor family had a hard time in lack of knowledge on sanitation and hygiene and impacts of drinking unsafe water. WaterAid’s team recently in their December visit shot Jeet Bahadur’s story and have already shared it onto internet. NEWAH’s employee Bishnu Dawadi suggested Jeet to boil water before drinking upon seeing the quality of water they were consuming on that time. However, they complained that it was not practical boiling water for seven members of the family on a daily basis. Jeet Bahadur even made a bamboo fence to prevent probability of contamination from livestock as it was nearby the walking trail. (As given in the picture above)
Ultimately, this fiscal year 2011/12, NEWAH in financial support from WaterAid in Nepal implemented Jogidanda WASH project which has been a huge relief for Jeet Bahadur’s family. They not only got an opportunity to learn about living a healthy life but also were relieved from drinking water from an open source which had many probabilities of contamination. This March, the source has been protected and a tank has been constructed; Jeet’s family has finally got access to safe drinking water. The quality of the water has also been tested with P.A Vial instrument and according to Shree Prasad Wagle, NEWAH’s project supervisor no coliform microbes were detected in the water.
After assuring the quality of drinking water Jeet Bahadur contentedly says, “Now my children shall never fall sick due to water-borne diseases.” Jeet Bahadur has made and has been using a permanent latrine since last December. Along with this he is also using dish washing slab and dish drying racks. He is thinking of utilising unused water from taps and from washing slabs in his kitchen garden. Jeet Bahadur shares, “I really want a kitchen garden in my house upon learning that we can produce seasonal vegetables using the unused water. Growing vegetables can actually support my family get rid of day-to-day vegetable eating dilemma as well as market them for earning.”
Jeet Bahadur's elder daughter Sarita is also very delighted with the services and an opportunity as her family got with learning many new things from the WASH project. Studying in the 9th grade Sarita and her parents along with three sisters and one brother have learnt washing their hands with soap water during critical times. At last she shares, “I am sure a person can live a healthy life with an access to safe drinking water, using adequate toilet and adopting a healthy behaviour. Before, we used to be absent for several days in school due to sickness. But now, we are regular in school and able to read properly thus improving our education.”
Jeet Bahadur has in deed secured his children’s life and he doesn’t have to loose them as he lost his parents untimely.
Written by: Shree Prasad Wagle and Bishnu Dawadi
Project: Jogidanda Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene
Bahuntilpung VDC ward no. 8, Sindhuli district
Donor: WaterAid in Nepal
Date: April 2012