When the well is dry, we will know the worth of water. – Benjamin Franklin
Meet Subarna. She is a mother. She is a wife. She is a leader.
When the 2015 earthquakes destroyed the water supply system in her community in Gorkha District she did not panic as others. Instead, she thought of ways to work together with community members to build a new water supply system.
"Those were really challenging times," she recalls. "We had to walk up to one hour to fetch water from the well. I am 42 and at times my legs hurt very badly but I did not give up."
According to Post Disaster Need Assessment, 2015 published by National Planning Commission, out of a total 11,288 water supply systems in the 14 most-affected affected districts, 1,570 sustained major damages and 3,663 sustained partial damages.
Realising the need for easier access to water, which was more critical after the earthquake, a water supply system with 47 household taps has been built in Subarna's community with support from World Vision and Aktion Deutschland Hilft.
"In the beginning, some villagers were skeptical about this project but I always remained optimistic and I convinced many to support the construction of this water supply system. Now that the construction is complete and clean drinking water is flowing from everyone's household taps and they are very happy," says Subarna.
Ramnath, a local farmer says, "It took three months to complete the entire construction and we villagers actively supported the project staff and engineers. Subarna really took the lead."
When the Water Supply System User Committee was formed the community members chose Subarna as the Treasurer. "I feel honored that the villagers gave me this responsibility. I will not let them down," says Subarna.
Krishna Giri, Chairman of the committee, says, "Now 47 households are receiving adequate supply of clean drinking water at their doorstep and our water woes are long gone. The new water tank is also very spacious and it can hold up to 10,000 litres."
He adds, "Local women like Subarna have really worked hard coordinating for the successful completion of this project. For us, she is a hero. There is nothing a woman cannot do which a man can do."
Gunjan Gautam, WASH Manager at World Vision International Nepal, says, "World Vision works in impoverished areas to provide potable water and adequate sanitation to decrease illnesses, improve health, and lessen the burden on women and children by reducing the distance to water collection points. In addition, sufficient water increases crop production and thus the ability of parents to adequately provide for their children with better nutrition and income from the sale of produce."