Project Cascade

Project Cascade
A harsh life in a harsh environment
Sindhuli district is home to some of Nepal’s poorest and most marginalised communities. A
huge proportion of the district’s population lives in remote rural areas, without access to
clean water or any sanitation. The environment is tough, with communities scattered across
very mountainous terrain, with little or no road access – or connection to the outside world.
A lack of access to clean water and sanitation has huge impacts on rural communities. Sick
children are unable to attend school, and miss vital classes and exams which give them
opportunities for a brighter future. Parents are forced to spend money they simply don’t have
on medical treatment, instead of using it to invest in their futures. Women are bound by the
hours they spend collecting water, and are unable to earn a living. The lack of water and
sanitation quite simply keeps people in poverty.
Tosramkhola villagers share their stories
Tosramkhola is just one of Sindhuli district’s remote rural villages, where a lack of access to
water and sanitation is having devastating impacts on people’s lives. Villagers regularly have
to rise at 3am to make trips to a water source – all they can bring back is what they can
Ukhamaya Sarki, 22
Ukhamaya (right) has a 10 month old baby Mangali, and lives with her
father. The only water they have access to is not clean, and as a result
Mangali suffers from diarrhoea twice a month. Ukhamaya’s family is
very poor, and she has to borrow money to be able to pay for
“If the baby wasn’t sick I could save lots of money. I could also have more time to do other
things. When she is sick I don’t have time to have lunch or dinner. I don’t have time to work
in the fields to earn money, because she is crying. In the future I want my baby to teach. I
want to send her to school to get an education. I want her to read. I don’t want her to face
the same predicaments as me.” - Ukhamaya Sarki
Masini Bahadur Damai
Masini (right) is from the Dalit caste, whose members are very
marginalised in Nepal. She lives at the top of a hill, which is accessed
by a very steep climb up extremely narrow paths. The lower the caste,
the poorer the land they have to farm, and the more remote their
dwellings are.
“When we fetch water from the river there is no problem of untouchability. Only lower caste
people go there to collect water. But when we go to the other water source we have
problems. That source is used by the upper caste.” - Masini Bahadur Damai
Delivering the solution
ECIS schools’ funds will help to provide sustainable access to water and sanitation in
Nepal’s rural villages. Our work in rural Nepal is without doubt some of our most challenging,
but brings about life-changing transformations to inaccessible communities who are not
being reached by anyone else.
Thanks to WaterAid’s work, in the village of Piplegaun a gravity
flow scheme has been in operation for a year now, and every
house has a toilet.
Ambika Sarki, a mother of four from Piplegaun, used to walk
for 30 minutes to collect a bucket of water, and did this ten
times every day. She remembers first hearing about the
“There was a buzz in the village that something was going to
happen. In the beginning we did not believe that a water supply
would be so easy but later we found it was true. I was so happy
when the tap was built – because now I can do whatever I want
with the water. We three households use the tap – we all
gathered there when it was installed.”
Ambika Sarki from Piplegaun
gives her son safe, clean
water, thanks to the village’s
gravity flow system.
Using gravity to bring water to every household
In rural hill regions in Nepal we use gravity flow systems to bring access to clean
water to every single family in remote villages. This innovative technology takes
advantage of the problem to deliver the solution, and is the most appropriate and
cost-effective for the tough mountainous environment.
Clean water is captured from a protected upland spring, and using the force of gravity,
it is transported to a number of tapstands in the community below.
The tapstands are within easy reach of people’s houses, and dramatically cut the time
it takes to access water – plus of course, the water is safe.
Maintenance of the system is vital, and so community members are trained as
caretakers who are permanently on site to keep clean safe water running smoothly.
Changing behaviour to create a long term impact
For any water technology to be successful in the long term, it is necessary to first
address sanitation and hygiene awareness. Through education and awareness
sessions, every single person in the community is able to make the link between poor
sanitation and disease.
Addressing social issues like caste discrimination is also vital to a project’s long term
success. A users committee is formed of men and women who represent different
castes in the community. This committee plays an integral role in the ongoing
management of the project, and ensures that the voices of disadvantaged and
excluded groups are heard.
Community involvement is vital
The communities who benefit from the scheme are involved throughout – from
planning to development, from implementation to post project monitoring. They help
decide exactly where the intake will be, and a member of every household helps dig
trenches for the pipelines.
Taking this approach ensures that communities themselves own the projects, and are
committed to maintaining them for the long term.
Sita Devi Pahadi
Sita Devi Pahadi, 46, is a member of the water and sanitation users
committee in Piplegaun, a village where a WaterAid gravity flow
system is now up and running.
“I was one of the team members who chose the location of the
intake. I actively took part during the construction of the drinking
water project. It took nine months, and I devoted all my time to it. I
really feel good. It is a matter of pride and dignity. I have not been
exposed to society to this extent beforehand. Now everyone knows
me and I have got lots of respect.
“In terms of the change since the project, the first thing is that the
whole environment has changed. There has been a visible change in sanitation, likewise our
time has been saved because we had to spend lots of time collecting water but now the tap
is nearby. Dish and utensil washing has been easier and we do not have to face problems
when we need to defecate in the daytime. Even diarrhoea has reduced significantly.”
The Big Collection
Help WaterAid transform the lives of hundreds people like Ukhamaya, Masini and Sita with
ECIS this year! Email [email protected] to order your free Big Collection fundraising
pack, full of fundraising ideas and resources and classroom activities and lesson plans to
help you build learning about Nepal into your curriculum.