Kathmandu city dwellers sacrificing dreams for water

Locals queue up up to fetch water from a spout in Kathmandu. Photo: File photo
Locals queue up up to fetch water from a spout in Kathmandu. Photo: File photo

KATHMANDU, Nepal- Sushila Gautam, 45, of Gausala wakes up at wee hours of Friday just to fetch water. She also phoned some close neighbours of her and wake them up for the same. And she said this is the routine she is following for the last ten years. At the time when water shortage has hit hard the locals, Gautam has no other option but to compromise her dreams for just to fetch enough water for her family members and household chores.

The Kathmandu Upatyaka Khane Pani Limited (KUKL), the government corporation responsible for supplying drinking water in the Kathmandu Valley, has managed to supply water in the area for two hours in three alternate days.

“If I missed to fetch water considering bed time then I have to live without drinking water for the next three days or have to buy from other suppliers that adds extra costs,” lamented Gautam.

According to her experience the condition was turned more worse in the last five years. “Its just like a dream and a failry tale that we use to bath, wash clothes and dishes and sometimes even drink water from the river,” she said pointing towards the Bagmati river which recently has turned to a drain.

Another, Anju Parajuli, of Baneshwor height has similar story. “If there is electricity then the condition would be easier but in case of loadshedding we cannot use water pumps and hardly a single drop will fall from the tap,” she recounts her story, adding that the uncertinity of water schedule and minimum quantity have hit them badly.

Not only Sushila and Anju have the problem but it’s the common problem for all city dwellers as water shortage has become a major problem in Kathmandu. With the onset of summer season, the Kathmanduties are finding more difficult to manage water for them and their family members.

KUKL officials, on the other hand, said that they have informed the consumers about the schedule and day on which the corporation release water in their locality through notice in the national newspapers. “The water resources remain the same but the urbanization and population in the city is increasing day by day,” said a KUKL official explaining that it has been doing its best to provide adequate drining water for all.

According to the preliminary report of the national census conducted last year, more than 35 Lakh population from across the country have gathered in the capital city for some reason or for the others.


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