Panchthar villagers borrow, lend water

PANCHTHAR: Residents of Ratmate in Panchthar's Bharapa VDC walk two kilometres to fetch their drinking water. Ten families in this remote hilly village have been facing this problem for decades.

Fifteen years on, the Sachhekhola Drinking Water Project remains incomplete. Creating the intake at the source and laying 10-kilometre pipeline are the only accomplishments.

''The pipes are getting lost,'' said Robin Korkali, a local resident. "The villagers borrow and lend water,'' said Binod Timsina. "They lend on the condition of returning it the next day,'' he added.

''The project remains incomplete thanks to the inadequate budget allocation," said Jaya Rijal, former VDC chairman. We have received only Rs 5 million out of Rs 20 million required for the project.

Meanwhile, residents of Madibung of the same VDC queue up for water well before the dawn. "We can't collect any water if we don't venture out in the wee hours of the morning."

Budget inadequacy has marred the completion of 10 such projects in the district. Another water project in Amarpur VDC remains incomplete though it was started in 2000.

Raj Kumar Chaudhari of the Drinking Water Sub-division Project in Phidim said lack of funds was the main cause behind the delay. He said Rs 70 million was needed for the project’s completion.