Students in Hardeni miss classes to fetch drinking water

Gaighat, March 23

Sita Karki, a class 9 student at Hardeni Secondary School, Udyapur misses the first period in the morning once a week. The 14-year-old has to fetch water from a well before heading to school.

All students at Hardeni Secondary School take turns to fetch water, for drinking and other purposes, before school, inevitably missing a class or two every week.

Due to acute water shortage in the area, the school came up with a plan to allow students, excluding children up till class 4, to go to a well that is located half-an-hour away from the school. Every day, around 30 pupils are sent with jerrycans on a trek to obtain water for students to use for the day.

“What else could  we do? The kids need water for drinking and sanitation, but we don’t get water in the area, so assigning students to carry water in turns is the only solution right now,” Krishna Regmi, school principal,  said. “We purchased 30 jerrycans with a capacity ranging from one to five litres for students of different ages to carry,” the principal said.

In this dire situation, the principal says he was left with no other option and expressed his helplessness regarding students missing classes. “The students are bound to miss classes in order to fetch water and this has affected their studies,” Regmi said, adding that the entire village was facing severe water shortage.

The school management also informed that the water problem, has in turn affected the implementation of the Open Defecation Campaign. In fact, Hardeni was declared an ODF zone two years ago.

Udayapur Water and Sanitation Division Engineer Satya Narayan Sah said they were taking measures to supply drinking water to the village soon. “As there is no water source in the village, we are preparing a water project here to provide water by using alternative means,” Sah informed.