Fighting climate change, one tap-stand at a time

20th March 2020

This World Water Day it is important reflect on the ways climate change has and continually puts strain on water resources. Raleigh Volunteer Communications Officer, Alex, reflects on the work Raleigh volunteers have been doing in Gorkha to support communities in improving water access and livelihoods.

In Gorkha, agriculture, forestry and livestock make up 80% of people’s livelihoods – all of which are climate-sensitive and heavy in water usage. But these are not their only challenges regarding water. People do not have equal access to water and having a tap with running water in your household is far from the norm. Currently, many people in rural areas share a tap stand situated in a public space where everyone gathers to collect water, bathe and do their washing. Water access is unequal as some live further away from the shared tap stands meaning they have to spend more away  from tending to fields and cattle.

Volunteers Fergus and Charlotte make tap-stands in Gorkha

Considering the high demand of water, the lack of facilities and water shortages, Raleigh volunteers in Nepal have been working alongside communities to improve the water access.

Since 2015, young volunteers have been working with communities to improve piping for water, whilst also providing a tap stand for every household. Through this impactful work, volunteers are supporting communities to reduce the amount of water loss due to faulty pipes and making water more accessible for every one.

Shova Panta tends to her crops in her poly-tunnel in Dwadiswara

In 2019, Raleigh volunteers worked with Shova Panta to improve water in her home community of Dwadiswara. She said:

 “Before Raleigh’s WASH project, our lives were very difficult since we did not have easy access to water. We had to walk for an hour or so to get water, and what we did collect was hardly enough to use it for household and agricultural purposes. Now, since we have one tap stand per house, things have been a lot easier for us. With the time I save from not having to go and collect water every day, I have been able to spend more time in the fields.”

As Raleigh volunteers, we have also been working on livelihoods projects, supporting communities to alleviate problems caused by climate change and water shortages. The farmers that we have been working with in Gorkha are directly affected by climate change due to the change in rain patterns. The weather in Gorkha sways between downpour and severe drought, making it difficult for them to get enough water to irrigate their crops.

To support those that need it, our volunteer teams have been introducing newer, more sustainable farming methods, such as drip irrigation, to help farmers maintain a healthy crop even when water is scarce. Drip irrigation is effective as it brings water to the roots directly, causing less water waste.

Ramesh Aryal, tending to his crops in his poly-tunnel in Bhadure.

Additionally, Raleigh volunteers have also been introducing farmers to water management methods through various awareness sessions. Ramesh Aryal from Bhadure was one farmer we supported to implement these methods. He said:

“Before using drip irrigation, we just used normal pipes to water our plants. This meant instead of just using 10 liters or so, we would be using up to 50-60 liters of water. But with drip irrigation, we are able to use the just amount the plants actually needs. We have also learned to reuse and save water. We have now started to collect the waste water from our kitchen and washing dishes and using it to water our vegetable fields. This is a new practice for us, before the program we never thought to reuse such water.”

 Nepal and the rest of the world will continue to experience the negative effects of climate change. But we are doing our best to support people in Nepal to combat those effects and become more resilient to climate change.


Raleigh Nepal are supporting communities across Nepal to gain better access to water and sanitation for everyone. For more information on our programmes in Nepal check out our Facebook and Instagram. To find out how you can volunteer with us, please click here

 

 

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