We did it! Cordaid, Parivartan Patra and the villagers of Itpare constructed a huge 12 thousand liters hazard proof ferro-cement water tank, right on the steep slope of a mountain in Nepal. 42 Dalit households now have access to water again. It makes all the difference in the world, as last year’s earthquakes destroyed water sources in Itpare, just like in many other parts of the country.
The water tank is part of the disaster risk resilience activities Cordaid and partner Parivartan Patra started after the two mega-earthquakes of April 25th and May 17th last year in close collaboration with local communities in Rasuwa district.
After the earthquakes and landslides water sources simply disappeared, completely disrupting people’s households, as well as agriculture and livestock activities, causing food insecurity and malnutrition.
“Nothing is as important as water. Now we are getting water thanks to this tank and our drinking water problem has been solved.”
Murali Nepali from the Dalit community in Itpare
Cordaid and Parivartan Patra constantly worked with villagers to rehabilitate water sources, provided drinking and irrigation water to affected families and worked together with villagers to prevent water-borne diseases.
Reshaping the water system
Together with the villagers of ltpare we completely reshaped the water system, creating or rehabilitating 5 public drinking water facilities and a new water management system for kitchen gardening.
Construction site of the ferro-cement tank.
But the biggest feat in Itpare – 1500 meters above sea level – must be the new 12 thousand ferro-cement water reserve tank. The old cement tank was destroyed last year. The new one not only re-uses waste water and serves the whole community. It’s also built in a durable, hazard proof way.
For the technical nerds among you, here are some of its features:
- As for the exact site, we had limited options but ensured that the tank is located on the interior side of the mountain slope, which is less prone to landslides;
- We used dry stone masonry and a so-called Gabion wall to protect the tank structure against flash flooding during the monsoon; a crossing anchor block prevents the inlet pipe above stream from being swept away by possible landslides;
- The valve box next to the tank is ergonomic and has a manhole opening for operation and maintenance;
- Water pipes were buried in the earth: 0.9 meters in agricultural land, 0.6 meters in non-ploughing land and 0.3 meters in hard rocky soil;
- Barbed wire fencing protects the construction against unauthorized personnel, herd grazing or farming;
- And finally, regular water quality tests are part of the water safety plan which is carried out by the water user committee.
Murali Nepali (58) from the Dalit community in Itpare and member of the Water user Committee, puts it like this: “Nothing is as important as water. Now we are getting water thanks to this tank and our drinking water problem has been solved. I have no words to show our gratitude, except for: Dhanyabad!”