Community efforts for improving drinking water quality

Working with communities to demonstrate and disseminate methods for improving drinking water quality using structural and vegetative measures

The People and Resource Dynamics in Mountain Watersheds of the Hindu Kush-Himalayas Project (PARDYP) implemented this approach with 30 drinking water user households at Barbot in the Jhikhu Khola watershed, Kabhre Palanchok. The aim was to improve water quality and availability from an open spring source through participatory planning and implementation.

The approach first identified local concerns and observed the sanitary situation of the catchment area. Meetings were held jointly with men and women users from different caste groups (Brahmin, Chhetri, Newar and Kami) to discuss the problems and issues and to identify viable solutions. The advantages and disadvantages of the various options were discussed, after which users selected the following three measures to improve the drinking water supply: 1) building a brick-cement walled structure around the main local spring, 2) establishing check dams across nearby rills and gullies, and 3) planting grass around the spring box and tree saplings within the catchment area. The aim was to prevent direct fl ow of surface water into the spring and reduce contamination and turbidity of the source. Understanding and support was gained by demonstrating the technology and running an awareness campaign.

Problem

  • Weak institutional collaboration to develop technological options for improving drinking water quality and availability and to raise awareness on health and hygiene and waterborne diseases

Objectives

  • To explore and demonstrate appropriate water quality improving technologies and methods in a participatory way
  • To increase awareness on water quality, water treatment, and health and hygiene
  • To share knowledge gained on the water improvement options with farmers and other stakeholders

    WOCAT database reference: QA NEP17

    Location: Barbot-Dhotra, Jhikhu Khola watershed, Kabhrepalanchok, Nepal

    Approach area: <0.1 km2

    Land use: Extensive grazing

    Climate: Humid subtropical

    Related technology: Drinking water quality improvement through conservation measures (QT NEP17)

    Target Users: Land users

    Compiled by: Madhav Dhakal, ICIMOD

    Date: October 2006