Working as a chairperson

‘’Working as a chairperson in DWUC SANGEETA is being a leader of community”

Sangeeta Ranamagar is 40 years old woman living in Gangajamuna Rural Municipality ward no.5 Archalepani (Former Phulkharka VDC ward no.8). She lives in a family of 8 members. She and her neighbors have been facing water stress since a long time. Remembering the scarcity of drinking water after the earthquake, she said, “There was only one unmanaged public tap without any collection point which was shared by around 16 households. The water flow was getting reduced day by day after the earthquake. We had to wait for 1-2 hours in the morning and evening to fill our buckets. Due to this, we were not able to use sufficient water for household purpose and maintain proper sanitation. Sometimes our children have loose to attend schools because of standing time in cue of water collection.”

Being a inhabitant of the Archalepani village before Drinking Water Users Committee (DWUC) formation from Sustainable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Action Nepal (SWASTHA) Project implementing by Care/RIMS Nepal, She is rarely involved in social group and mass meeting. When ward chairperson called her about source protection, she did not believe at first but she was curiously awaited. “After some days later representative from CARE/RIMS had come and call for users meeting and formed the user’s committee for source protection/construction. Users have nominated me as a chairperson but I ignored first then I was ready to stay in committee after all member had convinced to me,’’ she said.

After the nominating as a chairperson of Archalepani DWS, she has encountered many challenges. She have to work as a focal/front person from the community. She finally completed apply to source registration to district, Made constitution of DWS, Affiliated to FEDWASUN, Opening and regularly transact the bank account, agreement of DWS, mobilization of community and many other works as a leader of DWS. She had successfully managed all of the work learning together with DWUC member and office staffs.

Now they have child friendly tap stand with 10 cubic meter well-constructed Ferro-cement collection tank. Sangeeta looked very satisfied, and with a smile in her face, she said, “CARE/RIMS helped us build a new Ferro-cement tank. It can store more water and it is easier to clean.”  She added, “Mainly after the earthquake, we had to invest more time to fetch water which created many difficulties in our daily life. Now, we have our own tank and two taps to distribute water, it has made our life easier and lots of time is saved. I am very glad with Care/RIMS who helped us solve our water problem. They not only helped us build a new tank but also ensured that the water we drank was safe with quality tests.”

Rs.50 is regularly collecting from each households as water tariff per month for the regular operation and maintenance and for the sustainability of water supply scheme. Altogether 21,000 collected in Maintenance Fund with the collection of Rs. 1000 from each households in beginning of the month. They have regularly invest within users’ household in 18% interest for urgency and income generation activities.

At last Sangeeta said, “Problems came in our life unexpectedly then we solve that with collective struggle. I am very thankful to Care/RIMS because Care/RIMS made me confident build up support to accessible safe drinking water.”