Lack of access to drinking water women in Liwali IDP Camp face hardships in their daily lives
Water scarcity is no new problem to the valley denizens. Every now and then, they struggle to fetch water staying in a long queue or walking long distance. Water woes are even subtle for people who are living in temporary shelters after the 2015 massive earthquake.
A 41-year Nhuchha Laxmi Basi struggled a lot to find a shelter above her head after the earthquake damaged her house completely. After four months’ struggle, she has finally got small CGI sheet covered shelter to live in Liwali IDP Camp, Bhaktapur. Being only breadwinner for her three daughters, she has to manage her household chores and work at the same time.
As Liwali IDP Camp lacks supplying of drinking water, she has to go here and there to fetch water. “I cannot afford to purchase drinking water. It is very difficult for me to manage expenses for my daughters’ study and other expenses with my earnings,” said Nhuchha Laxmi wiping her tears.
“I have to walk till my mother’s home to fetch single pot of water,” she said, adding that the water from nearby well cannot be used for drinking purpose. She further said that rice turns to grey while using well water for cooking.
“There is no option to fetch water in every three days covering long distance. Sometimes managing time to fetch water becomes challenging task as I also need to go to work,” she cited in her disappointment. “I think I am lucky as my daughters assist me fetching water and other household chores. With them I get to smile in this most difficult time also,” she said collecting a smile.
And the story of Chandra Keshari Gosai is not different than hers. Forty two years old Chandra Kesari works for hospital and for her reaching at work on time is a big challenge. The main cause for being late at office is water problem in the camp site. “Dug well is only source of water in the camp. And we use it for washing, cleaning and other purposes. We have to stay in long queue to fetch water from the well,” she said. Citing that they cannot use well water for drinking purpose, she informed, “The water from the well is not good for drinking and cooking purpose. Rice turns into grayish color if we use well water.”
As an alternative source for water, she along with her husband goes to her sister’s house to fetch drinking water. As she is occupied by her duty so she kept the empty jars at her sisters place and bring the water filled jars next day. According to her, she has to manage whole week with the two jars of water for drinking and cooking purpose. With no access to drinking water, they are compelled to survive with limited amount of water.