Sustainable Solutions for Managing Water Resources
Community initiatives for sustainable water supply and micro irrigation facilities through Badepatal Multi-Use System are quite visible in Purputaa village in Bajura district. The beneficiary people have been absorbing viable measures for sustainability with the spirit of taking complete ownership of the scheme.
The scheme benefits 45 households of the village with a total of 291 people. RVWRMP constructed the scheme investing NRS. 2,443,504 with 27% community contribution. All the structures of the scheme are maintained and functioning well in the lead of the Users Committee (UC).
Before the scheme, people were compelled to drink water from Naulo, a traditional point source, slightly improved with two taps supported by the District Development Committee some 20 years ago. Mr. Jagat Bahadur Shahi, one of the water users comments: “-The supply of water was unsafe and insufficient before. Diarrhoea cases were frequent. The Naulo, with less yield and just two taps providing drinking water to 55 households, was our God in one hand and a place for quarrelling in the other. We could never think of vegetable farming in the village”.
Increased access to the sanitation and hygiene
[endif]--The project constructed the scheme in such a way that the communities get sufficient water for drinking and then the overflow water from the structures is used for irrigating home gardens and production of commercial vegetables. Comparing the situation, both present and the past, UC member Ms. Shobha Budha, says: “-This scheme has reduced women’s burden to manage water and sanitation in our village now. Personal hygiene and other means of sanitation are promoted. Additionally, we are happy to see growing vegetables in our garden with the irrigation facilities. We have constructed offtakes and waste water collection pound for irrigation. We feel that the village is changing and becoming healthier.” Following Ms. Shova, the UC secretary, Mr. Nirpa Budha says, “Irrigation service has introduced us to initiate commercial vegetable production and we are thinking to construct one more offtake for additional irrigation requirements”
Water tariff collection
Initial benefits of the scheme have encouraged the users to retain the benefit long ahead witnessed by the User Committee’s institutional set up and activeness. Nine UC members with five females organize regular meetings, annual general assembly, regularly collect water tariff at NRs 50 per household per months in advance, maintain book keeping, public transactions and always make sure to keep the confidence of the tariff payers. The scheme has collected a total of NRS 196,744 in the account, which is the remaining deducting the operation and maintenance expenditure from NRS. 216,336. The balance amount is invested at the rate of 24% interest in the community. The interest earning has reached NRS. 39,466. A minimum stock of spare parts is managed properly in the scheme. UC Chairperson, Mr. Santosh Shahi says, “-In the past the community people never felt that the
scheme belonged to them. But now, the situation has empowered us to take ownership of the scheme as it is our future. We have no problem to operate the scheme and are honestly strict on our operation and maintenance plan. We are developing a new approach to the management of the scheme related to meeting, water tariff collection and scheme monitoring. The approach ensures that female tap group meeting takes place two days before the UC meeting and collects water tariff and hands over to the UC; Water Safety Plan (WSP) team monitors the whole scheme status monthly, one day before the UC meeting. Then the status is discussed in the UC meeting that suggests UC to take corrective actions. The rate of water tariff will be increased annually. Our efforts to increase operation and maintenance fund will be continued. Investment will be prioritized in livelihood promotion activities. This is our scheme, this is our life and of course we are aware of taking care of our life long ahead as others do”
Operation and Maintenance Management Book
The UC has its signboard displayed in the office managed in the house of secretary. Operation and maintenance regulation, water safety plan are prepared and implemented effectively. Operation and maintenance management book is regularly updated.
Female tap groups are formed and actively involved in basic operation and maintenance of the taps, sanitary activities and tap garden promotion. Spare parts are managed in the store. A Village Maintenance Worker (VMW) is appointed with his ToR to look after the scheme and receives NRS. 5,000 a year as his remuneration. The existing activities and vision of the UC and the users will ensure that the community will keep enforcing the sustainable solutions as facilitated by RVWRMP.