© Helvetas
Nepal

A Fair Share of the Water

© Helvetas

Before Helvetas helps a village build a water supply system, the community gets together to negotiate and plan the fair sharing of the water. Women and Dalits (“Untouchables”) have the same say in these matters as local men of influence.

  • Project Name
    Integrated Water Management
  • Project Phase
    2017 to 2021
  • Funding
    Donations, contributions, SDC programme contribution
  • Thematic focus
    WASH & Water Governance
    Gender & Social Equity
    Advocacy

Water: everyone gets a say and their fair share

New taps. A supply pipe to irrigate the fields. Rainwater tanks. All of that is far from being a matter of course in Nepal. Nationwide, only every other family has access to drinking water near the home. The situation is even direr in remote regions, where four out of five families draw their water from rivers, unprotected sources or ponds. The water quality is doubtful at best: 13,000 children under the age of five die annually from gastro-intestinal diseases caused by contaminated water in Nepal.

So supplying rural regions with drinking water is a major priority for Helvetas. Helvetas only considers villages that have already built latrines. Before tapping springs in these villages, laying pipes and installing public taps, each village discusses the management of this scarce resource. Led by native experts, representatives of all the households in the village gather on the village square to take stock of the total water resources, water rights and various uses of water on their territory. How much drinking water do the villagers need? And their livestock? How much water is needed in the fields? Where are signs of groundwater? Then they jointly draw up a list of measures to consider: irrigation canals, conduit systems with taps, drawing-down wells or rain water tanks, measures to protect springs, drip irrigation.

© Helvetas
A woman and a child carry water. © Helvetas
1/4
© Helvetas
Cisterns collect rainwater for household use in houses where it is not possible to have piping systems with dispensers. © Helvetas
2/4
© Helvetas
Cisterns collect rainwater for household use in houses where it is not possible to have piping systems with dispensers. © Helvetas
3/4
© Helvetas
A woman with her child. © Helvetas
4/4

These discussions have so far been dominated by men of influence in the village. It is now up to the outside advisers to change the established order and give an equal say in the matter to the disenfranchised: women and members of marginalized lower castes.

The agreed measures are not executed until all the water use issues have been resolved.  The contracts for the works to be undertaken are then awarded to local plumbers and bricklayers. Meanwhile, the villagers, especially schoolchildren, are sensitized to the issues of sanitation, waste management, cleaning and clean storage of water, hygiene in the kitchen and household, hand-washing and personal hygiene. Local and regional authorities are integrated into the process so that this approach to resource planning can gain wider traction.

«At first they wouldn’t give me – as a Dalit (“Untouchable”) and widow – any access to water. But I stood up and made my case. Before I was given a tap and an irrigation basin, I had to beg for vegetables. This year I even sold vegetables myself for the first time.»

Dil Sara Bishwakarma, (45), a widowed Dalit, Nepal

Multimedia Stories of Nepal

Leveraging youth potential to curb unemployment

The training, is part of the HOJE project (Habilidades mais Oportunidade resulta em Jovem com Emprego), implemented by HELVETAS Mozambique.

"Drinking water without fear" - Alima Mussa

The feeling expressed above is shared by several members of the communities that have benefited, for the first time, from water points in the administrative posts of Ancuabe Sede, Meza and i

Charity:water and HELVETAS strengthen programmatic partnership

From May 28th to June 3rd, 2022, Charity:water carried out a programmatic visit to HELVETAS Mozambique, in order to, among other strategic objectives, understand the activities developed and

SANTOLIC: communities vigilant on harmful sanitation practices to achieve LIFECA status

The IDP Wash project (Improved Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Services for IDPs and their host families) in Cabo Delgado province, triggered by HELVETAS Mozambique is positively contributing

Communities sensitized to Good Menstrual Hygiene Management

On May 28th 2022, HELVETAS Mozambique held a Campaign for Social and Behavioral Change for the adoption of Good Management Practices for Menstrual Hygiene, with the objective of combating th

Youth and Training Providers trained in Entrepreneurship and Business Management

At least 100 young people (of which 50 are women) and 20 service providers (artisan) from Nampula and Niassa provinces were trained last April in entrepreneurship and small business manageme
© Patrick Rohr

Taking a Breather While on the Run

Refugees from Ukraine arrive daily in Palanca, located in southeastern Moldova. Patrick Rohr was on site at the end of March to observe how humanitarian aid from Switzerland is arriving.

45 years later, Catarina is empowered to speak up on menstruation

Catarina Luis, 45 years old, has been a resident of the community of Noele/Namapa for 31 years. She lives with her husband and has seven children, three boys and four girls.

AMCANE - tackling pests and diseases to ensure food security

The year 2021 was marked by the beginning of the commercial production process of the EM2/Biospray is currently the great alternative to the shortage of biological products for the treatment
It is a fact that in Mozambique, as in many other countries, young people with low levels of education face greater challenges to entering the labor market and in their daily lives.

A Sideways Look

The Workplace Challenges Faced by Vulnerable Social Groups

How Farmers Shifted From Subsistence to Profit Without Leaving the Village

Farmers from a small village in Bangladesh came up with an idea that changed their lives

"I dream of having mother and father one day."

Adapted lessons for orphans and half-orphans were held at the boarding school in Kyrgyzstan.

Overcoming Menstruation Stigma in Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique

In many places around the world, conversations on the topic are forbidden - between a husband and a wife and even between a mother and a daughter.
© Helvetas

Two Stories, One Dream

Domingas Adelino and Alzira Casimiro are two young women that have been trained in the culinary field.
© Helvetas

The kit that brought dignity to families in Natuco

In Natuco, several houses have been damaged and are still posing bad living conditions.

The Future They Want

Making Sense of Youth Aspirations in East and Southeast Europe
National Conference_PSI | © Helevetas

30 municipalities of Issyk-Kul and Jalal-Abad provinces exchanged best practices on improving services at the local level in Kyrgyzstan

On November 30, 2018, a Conference on best practices to improve public service delivery at the local level was held in Bishkek.
© Helvetas
The water supply system is improving living conditions in Northern Mozambique.
© Helvetas

"The joy that was missing to us all"

The water supply system is improving living conditions in Northern Mozambique.
© Helvetas

An Exemplary Water and Sanitation Committee for Good Water Sources Management

The Natuco Water and Sanitation Committee was selected the best water and sanitation committee of Mecufi District in Cabo Delgado Province of Northern Mozambique.

Changing Perspectives

Exercising his profession for a week in another country and getting to know the everyday life of his colleagues: this dream came true for four young plumbers from Switzerland and Nepal.

Where Tea Grows on Trees

In the mountainous hinterland of Laos, tea leaves are picked at high altitudes.

Where the Sun Pumps the Water

How the construction of a solar pump has made life easier for the people of a small village in Mali.

Women Inspiring Change in Guatemala

Young Guatemalan Women are Breaking With Traditional Gender Roles.

Growing medicinal plants in the Chittagong Hills Tracts of Bangladesh

Read how Mujib Chakma’s family increased their income by cultivating medicinal plants in the minorities region of Bangladesh.

A Farmer’s Daughter Goes to College

Read how the Chakma family, with the support of Helvetas, has set up a tree nursery and thus freed themselves from poverty.

Protecting fish stocks in Myanmar

The people in the Gulf of Mottama live from fishing. Read how they try to regulate stocks with the help of Helvetas.

Yezina Overcomes Every Hurdle

Yezina won't let her handicap stop her. She wants to become a successful seamstress who decides her own life.

Benin’s Urban Farmers

Find out how the cultivation of organic vegetables has changed the daily life of many small farmers in Benin for the better.
© Helvetas / Jonathan Widmer

Welcome Home

Hospitality has a long tradition for the Red Dao in the northern highlands of Vietnam. Thanks to sustainable tourism, it should now also give rural communities an income.

Hoping for a Better Life

Day after day over 1500 mostly young people leave Nepal. One of them is Suraj Ghalan, who wants to work in Saudi Arabia.

The Water Man

With his own hands, Teófilo Garcia Caraballo ensured that water now comes out of a tap for his family in Villa Serrano in Bolivia.
© Patrick Rohr / Helvetas

Stateless – the Fate of the Rohingya

In the refugee camp in Bangladesh, Rabeya Begum and Mohamad try everything to enable their little son Mohamad Rizwan to live in dignity.
© Helvetas

Promoting the Right to Education in Kyrgyzstan

The adaption classes for children with special needs were opened in Jeti-Oguz municipality

The Rise of the Shahi Family

The history of the Sahi family shows that real change is possible. Not overnight, but from generation to generation.

Daulima is Building her Future

One year after the earthquake in Nepal, Daulima is fighting for a new home.
© Helvetas / Alexa Mekonen

Living with Climate Change in Bangladesh’s Southern Coastal Belt

Nasrin Begum and her family live in one of the most vulnerable coastal districts in Bangladesh. They are among many who are severely affected by water salinity.

WASH & Water Governance

The most vulnerable communities suffer from dirty and scarce water. Annually we help up to 500,000 people get new access to drinking water and basic sanitation.

How Helvetas Supports People in Nepal

It all started in Nepal: Helvetas launched its first projects in 1956 in Nepal.