Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Piped water for landless in Tanahu village

Razen Manandhar
Tanahu, September 25:

First time in the country, over 400 families without proper land-ownership will have rinking water pipelines in a hilly village of Khairenitar in Tanahu district, around 30 km south-east of Pokhara.
The consumers of the locality have identified the families, which do not own legal land, as
“extremely poor” and have provided them with pipelines through special requests of the local consumer group, though according to the government rules, one requires to produce land-ownership certificate to subscribe to piped drinking water.
The 20.4-million-rupee-project of Khairenitar Small Town Water Supply and Sanitation Project (KSTWSSP) — a joint effort of the government, the consumers as well as the Asian Development Bank — is now in the final stage. The project is going to benefit 4,634 people in 808 households.
The project has earmarked Rs 19.8 million for water and Rs 0.5 million for sanitation. For this the government will provide a loan of Rs 6.5 million through Town Development Fund to the consumer groups.
In general, each of the subscribers has to pay Rs 16,000 but the extremely poor can get the same for Rs 7,800 in 24 installments. They will get additional free fitting service worth Rs 3,200. Poor who own houses, have to pay Rs 12,200 in 12 installments. For water, they will pay Rs 40 per month for 60 cubic litres of water and an additional Rs 6 for each cubic litre.
Some 855 households have already been provided with pipelines, of which eight are “extremely poor” and 13 are poor. KSTWSSP collected Rs 1.55 million in last fiscal year from them.
The project also provides building material worth Rs 2,500 to each of the poor families to build toilets.
However, the user group is facing problems, as the installed water treatment plant does not function properly during the monsoons. “With help of UN-HABITAT supported project, we will install a pre-treatment plant and work on capacity building for the consumers,” said Ram Chandra Upadhyaya, the secretary of the committee.
“The consumer group is now working on Khairenitar model as a demonstration project, making it a source of inspiration for surrounding towns,” said Laxmi Sharma, project officer of STWSSP for Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The project has a cost-sharing modality between the government and the beneficiaries.