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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

DRINKING WATER PAST AND PRESENT IN THE CONTEXT OF NEPAL

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Water is one of the most basic elements for all living beings on this earth. About 70% of the human body is made up of water. Human beings can live without food for some time but not without water. Water is used for various purposes, such as for cooking food, washing clothes, bathing, growing crops, construction work and for generating hydro-electricity. Water plays a vital role in the development of a country. If the citizens are healthy, development of a country will be rapid. Thus, government should make all the efforts to supply pure drinking water to its citizens.

Drinking Water in the Past
In the past, people used to drink water directly from the source. The first piped water for drinking purpose was launched in Kathmandu during the time of Bir Shumsher. Water was bought through pipes from Shivapuri area, in the north of Kathmandu and store in a reservoir in Maharajjung. At present, the reservoir is known by the name of “Pani Pokhari”. From the reservoir, water was piped out and supplied to different parts.

During the time of Bhim Shumsher, water was bought through pipes from Sangle Khola and store in the reservoir at Balaju. From here, water was piped out and supplied in various place. Later, the water used for generating hydro-electricity at Pharping was used for drinking as well.

In 1965, government laughed at water supplied project at Sundarijal. From the First Five Year Plan (1956-61), clean drinking water was supplied by making reservoirs. Drinking water cooperation was supply clean drinking water in various parts of the country. As a result, by 2001 AD, 52.5 % of people were able to enjoy this facility.

Drinking water at present
Nepal is rich in water resources. But, the rural and urban areas of hills and terai are facing the problem of water scarcity. “Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink”. In most of the remote and rural areas, people drink directly from the sources like rivers, spring, ponds etc. They need to walk long distance just a fetch a bucket of drinking water. These open sources of water was polluted and contaminated. These water sources dry of especially in winter. Such polluted water is the main cause for water-born diseases like dysentery, typhoid and cholera. Every year many infants, children and adults become victims of these diseases.

There is an acute problem of growing population in urban areas. The demands of drinking water in very high but difficult to fulfill. Most of water-pipes laid down during the time of Ranas have little or no maintenances. Due to the carelessness of the people, water goes waste as taps are let open event after use. People have to wake up early in the morning, and have to stand in the queue for long time just to get a bucket of water. Often people have to fulfil their needs by buying water from the private sector.

In the terai, most of the people have to depend upon tube well for the drinking water. Such water contains arsenic, causing skin disease. Thus the problem of drinking water is everywhere in Nepal.



S.N.-Sources of Drinking Water-No. Of Family/Household Using Water-Percentage
1. -- Tap or Piped water ----------------- 22,09,760 ------------------------ 52.93
2. -- Well or Pond -------------------------- 3,77,241 ------------------------ 9.10
3. -- Tubewell water ----------------------- 11,84,156 ----------------------- 28.37
4. -- Water from Spring -------------------- 2,67,180 ------------------------ 6.40
5. -- River/Stream ----------------------------- 61,400 ------------------------- 1.47
6. -- Water from other sources --------------- 37,232 ------------------------- 0.89
7. -- Unidentified ------------------------------- 37,489 ------------------------ 0.90
------- Total --------------------------------- 41,74,457 --------------------- 100
Source: Central Bureau of Statistics, 2058

Problems of drinking water
• Half of the total population are deprived of pure and safe drinking water.
• In the hilly areas the sources of water very far and limited.
• There is no sufficient water in urban areas.
• Diseases like dysentery, diarrhea, typhoid and cholera spread due to unsafe and polluted water.
• The water of terai suffer from skin diseases due to presence of arsenic in the tube well water.

Solution
• To conserve and clean the water resources.
• Use drinking water after purity test only.
• Making arrangement drinking water with the coordinating of government sector and local community.
• Use boiled and filtered water for drinking.
• Making provisions of fulfill the demands of drinking water in urban areas.
• Bring awareness among the people regarding the proper use of water without wasting it.




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