HUMLA – For many years, the women of Mundi village in Humla district in western Nepal faced serious hardships when fetching water for their families. The steep, rocky terrain made for hard climbs with heavy pots and buckets from the river bank back to the village.
Now the situation has changed. Three years ago, WFP supported a drinking water project for this rural village. Since then, life has become easier for the villagers - especially the women.
“Every day, I used to wake up before dawn and walk for an hour downhill to collect water from the river bank," says 33-year-old Kanukura Thakulla. "Carrying water-filled pots uphill to reach my home was painful.”
“My head, body and feet used to hurt a lot. Sometimes I would lose my balance and fall to the ground while passing through narrow rocky trails," Kanukura recalls. "Now life has become so easy. I have water near my house and I can fill my pots and buckets within minutes of turning the tap," says the mother of three.
To help bring running water to Mundi, WFP launched a project to provide villagers with rice while they worked on a water pipeline. This ensured everyone had enough food to eat while they set aside time to lay down the pipes.
As most of the people who live in the village are farmers, the work was timed to coincide with the period between planting and harvest when farmers can afford to be away from their fields.
With tap water at her doorstep, Kanukura relates that she is now able to spend more time with her family and quarrels with her husband have also died down.
"On several occasions, I had broken water pots on my way back home. We are a poor family and we don’t have enough money to buy new pots so my husband would scold me every time this happened,” she recalls.
“These days, I don’t break pots anymore and it has contributed in making small savings for us. My husband is also happy and he helps me get water from the tap when I am busy with other household chores,” says Kanukura.