Friday, 13 April 2012

Project Cascade - Saving families in Nepal walking miles just for unsafe water

After I heard about this issue, these people seemed in such plight, it seemed right to post this...

Despite the amazing beauty of the Nepalese countryside, villagers there live far from sources of water, and are forced to spend hours of every day walking to collect water, along dangerously high, steep and treacherous routes, sometimes just a few inches across with very steep and high drops either side, which are easy to slip on during rain and are at risk of lethal landslides. Sometimes, villagers slip and are injured, without medical services to provide assistance:

68 year-old Dambar, who was forced to spend 5 hours of her retirement a day collecting water until the age of 63, when she broke both of her hands after a fall, which have not healed well since then. Her daughter-in-law, Puma, is condemned to the job now ... unless she suffers injury, which could be serious, as well. Some mothers, such as Ukhamaya Sarki, have to carry their children along with them, putting them under extra strain and putting another life at risk.

What's more, after all this, the water is unsafe and, in the Western world, would certainly not be considered fit for drinking. Painful and debilitating illness is common, removing even more of familes' incomes in addition to the time taken for the trek for water. Children are deprived of an education, and the whole community is trapped in desperate poverty.

WaterAid has decided to work with such communities in "Project Cascade" (other organisations are yet to do this, making their work even more urgent and valuable), forming gravity flow mechanisms of pipes and tanks to collect and store safe, cleaner water, and make it available by nearby tap. This dramatically reduces illness (one person is reported as saying, "In fact there is no record of sickness in the whole village since the construction of the taps"), and saves countless families countless hours of time...

Lives of young and old are being unnecessarily ruined, when a solution is so easy and effective. Please spread the word about Project Cascade; donations can be made to Water Aid at

Thank you for reading, and for all your help!

(Information, names and stories are from WaterAid material)

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