In the small mountain village of Ramkot, Nepal, a family now has clean water enough to expand their garden and give water to their animals. Rajesh Khanal lives with his family in a small home on the side of the mountain. To get to his house we had to leave the rocky dirt road and trek up and down winding dirt trails, around the village holy place and past goats and water buffalo. Along the way, I found his sister, age 20, watering the family garden by hand with a watering can.
|Beets, cabbage, spinach, radishes, corn grow abundantly in their garden|
I asked her where her water came from. She proudly led me around the small humble home to an outdoor faucet – the family’s only water source. Her grandmother used to walk 3-4 kilometers each day to bring fresh water for her family. Now, clean water is right outside their door.
This is one of LDS Charities' water projects. In order to bring ample drinking water to this village of 1000 people, LDS Charities partnered with a local charity to drill a well, build a large cement storage unit for the water, and pipe water to individual homes via gravity feed. The pump brings up 12 liters of water per second, and provides ample water to everyone in the village. This is a huge blessing to a village that struggled to have enough water for their needs.
“We didn't have enough water for our animals,” Rajesh said. “Now, because we have fresh water right at our house, we can not only give plenty of water for our animals, we can also expand our garden.” With the larger garden they can not only eat enough food, but occasionally sell some vegetables to make a little extra money.
Their animals are a vital part of their existence. The water buffalo and cows help with the garden and provide fresh milk.
But they are not eaten. Cows are sacred in Nepal.
This cow has been given a blessing by the family – a “Tikka” - the red paint mark on its head. It's a thank you for blessing them with milk.
I asked Rajesh about their goats. “We do not drink their milk,” he said. “We raise baby goats. We eat many of the boy goats and raise the girl goats for more babies.” I asked him if they eat the “boy goats” as part of their animal sacrifices in Hindu worship. He said yes, that is why they are so important.
|Goats and haystack on the edge of town|
|Manjana uses the water from her new tap to wash dishes outside her home. |
Before the tap, she had to walk to the top of the village mountain to get water.
|Corn drying in the sun|
|Village family enjoying fresh water for hand washing|