Access to water

With the construction of the Multiple Use Water System, Thapadera community has finally access to drinking and productive water

Khemisare Bhandari of Thapadera is all smiles as she fetches a gagri of water from the recently constructed tap in her backyard. But it wasn’t long ago when she and her fellow villagers had to walk half an hour across the BHERI river and fetch drinking water from the neighboring community.

“We walked daily across the bridge and waited our turn to fill up our pots and bring it all the way back,” says Khemisara, adding, “for other purposes, we go down to the river and use water directly from there.”

It was the same river that caused havoc in 2015. A massive flood swept away livestock, cultivable land and damaged the whole water system in the village. Since the massive flood six years ago, people of Thapadera do not have access to safe drinking water or water for productive usage.

To address the water woes of this vulnerable community, the USAID BHAKARI program implemented by Mercy Corps Nepal supported the construction of a Multiple Use Water System. The water system collects water from a deep bore along the river to an 18 cubic meter water tank built in an elevated position just above the communities. After the construction of the tank, the program installed 35 taps in 35 households. More than six years onward, the community members of Thapadera have finally access to clean water for drinking and productive usage.


With the installation of the taps, Khemisara now no longer needs to make the daily journey across the river just to get a pale of water. “Now I can just fill up my pot outside my kitchen and use it for cooking, drinking and various purposes. It has made life a lot easier,” says Khemisera, adding that she can hardly believe the daily drudgery she had to put in before the installation of the taps.

Furthermore, the water system also provides water to irrigate kitchen gardens and vegetable fields. With access to water, Bhakta Bahadur Thapa, a migrant worker who has returned to his homeland, is trying his hands at vegetable farming. “This is my first season as a vegetable farmer. The saplings and vegetables seem to grow well. I feel happy,” says Thapa, adding “Even if I get a small amount of profit, I will be happy as the hard work that I have put in will be rewarded. I may be able to spend some part of the profit on my children’s education.”

With the new water system up and running, community members of Thapadera after more than six years have access to clean water. Till date, a total of 27 water projects have been newly constructed and 13 rehabilitated to increase efficiency and meet needs in water-scarce areas. With the start of year two, the program has finalized detailed project reports of 13 water schemes among which two are canal irrigation, 5 schemes are plastic ponds, 4 schemes are irrigation tanks and 2 schemes are snow harvesting ponds. 

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