Damdawali residents drink contaminated water from Babai River

July 25, 2018

Biplav Maharjan, The Kathmandu Post, 25 July 2018

The residents of Damdawali in Kalimati Rural Municipality, Salyan, have been compelled to drink contaminated water from the Babai river.

One hundred and eighty families in the settlement rely on the Babai river for water, and many of them do not even boil or employ basic filtration method to decontaminate the water, which makes them vulnerable to diseases like diarrhoea, cholera and typhoid.

The people of Damdawali have long been demanding the local authorities to set up a drinking water facility in their village, but to no avail.

Shashi Bahadur Khatri, chairman of the Drinking Water Project Construction Consumers Committee, said a water project in the village had to be discontinued after the water source at Mandrekhola dried up.

Meena Budha, a local woman, said the entire village was dependent on the Babai river for drinking water after the local water sources dried up nearly 13 years ago.

Owing to the shortage of water, most of the toilets in the village are also useless.

Suresh Gahamagar said the authorities were not concerned about their problem.

Besides the risk of disease outbreak, he said, water scarcity had also affected the education of their children.

Most of the children join their parents to fetch water by skipping their classes, Gahamagar said.

Dan Bahadur Khatri, chairman of Kalimati Rural Municipality, assured to end the water scarcity in Damdawali within the running fiscal year.

The District Drinking Water Sub Division Office said that around 9,000 households in Salyan still do not have access to clean drinking water.