| October 24, 2017
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Villages in Ilam facing acute water crisis

Bhim Chapagian/Republica Women of Chulachuli-8, Jhapa district, filling up water. As many as 150 households are forced to share the single water tap in the entire village. Bhim Chapagian/Republica Women of Chulachuli-8, Jhapa district, filling up water. As many as 150 households are forced to share the single water tap in the entire village.
150 households forced to share a single water tap
ILAM, March 29: In most cases, one water source is shared by about 10-15 families. However, as many as 150 households in Chulachuli VDC-8 of Ilam district are forced to share a single water tap.

The issue of acute water crisis is not a new problem in the village. The whole village has been dependent on just one water tap for the past few years as many water sources of the village have already dried up. And there is a strong possibility that the only source of water remaining too would dry up soon.
"Even after staying in queue for whole day to fill drinking water, we still don't get much water. Sometimes we won't even have sufficient water to last for a day for our family, let alone water for cattle," said Sabitra Ghimire, a local. "My whole day is spent on queuing up in line to fill water. This has prevented me to pay much-needed attention to my children and carrying out many other activities," added the thirty-two-year old housewife.

Locals of other wards are also facing the problem of water scarcity. Many villages are facing similar predicament. Villages including Aamjhola, Dhimaltar, Pokharidada and Bukuwa are just a few to name. Although the district has been declared Open Defecation Free (DOF) zone, many do not use toilets due to water scarcity.

"The situation here is that many water sources have dried up. There are just a few number of wells remaining. And hundreds of locals stay in queue to fill water from there," said Chandra Thapa, a local civil leader of Aamjhola.

Locals have to travel as far as seven kilometers on a daily basis to reach the water source and then stay in a very long queue until their turn comes to fill water. Yet, they can hardly get sufficient water for their family. About 400 households of the VDC face acute drinking water crisis throughout the year.

Locals say they hardly get sufficient water even in rainy season when water is supposed to be in abundance everywhere. Not only is water difficult to manage, water at the few remaining sources are not drinkable. Yet locals do not have other choice except to endure it or migrate to other places.

Meanwhile, the Drinking Water and Cleanliness Committee has claimed that they would eliminate drinking water crisis for 50,758 households out of 65,195 households of the district within this ongoing fiscal year.