postheadericon Women Group in drinking water:
A Source for Positive Change in Women's Life

(A case from Makawanpur district)

The scenario of Jun Tara Mahila Samuha (Group) of Peti Tole, Ambhanjyang VDC has been completely changed after the intervention of RWSSFDB programme implemented by SOLVE. Peti Tole was not benefited at all from the results of development activities that took place in the district. Previously,women had to wander elsewhere to fetch water, and had to confine to daily household chores. The crisis of water was so severe that collection of water from nearby source sometime became cause of disagreement among the neighbors. The political leaders during the election campaign gave words to improve drinking water situation, but it remained unchanged

After the intervention of SOLVE-Nepal through the Bhalu Khola Drinking Water and Sanitation Scheme with construction of 10 water tap stands and 19 toilets, the local environment of the community was changed.

The programme was followed by awareness on health, sanitation and various capacity building activities, which helped the community for heading towards social change by adopting participatory development process. The women who were confined to household chores and hesitated to speak to outsiders were made involved in the groups followed by the trainings that were focused on gender development, group dynamics, leadership development, mobilization of saving and credit, and right based approach. The capacity building training came out with tangible changes among the women. Women group of 52 members under WTSS named as Jun Tara Mahila Samuha was formed. They are now so much empowered that they can talk about their rights, lead the group, argue about gender balance, plan for women benefits, and maintain the book of saving in a transparent way

The group has started monthly saving with a deposit of ten rupees. Besides the seed money of Rs.10,000.00 received from RWSSFDB, the saving has been amounted to Rs. 93,931.00. The women group has been able to materialize the proverb “many little makes meracle”. Hira Kumari Humagain, one of the group members says, “I am significantly benefited after my affiliation with the group. I have been supported by the loan scheme number of times for buying goats. I sold out goats worth Rs. 20,000.00 this year. I own 20 goats right now. Besides income generation, I also spare some time for counseling the women members about their health. This year has been very lucky for me as I have been able to earn Rs. 40,000.00 from my undertakings “

Another group member, Chandra Maya Humagain speaks, “in the beginning I was not benefited from the meeting that I attended. I therefore considered it as a burden and waste of time to be involved in the group. However, I have now understood the importance of group. We have planned number of activities in a participatory way for benefiting the members. I got loan for buying an improved cow. We discuss on problems of group members in the meeting, and reach in consensus for solving problems. I think this is the strength of the group for which every group member has to feel proud”.

Shyam Timilsina, Secretary of Drinking water User’s Group cannot help himself without appreciating the efforts made by the women group members. He says,

I feel personally proud of being a Secretary of such an enthusiastic group. We have courage and commitment for undertaking any efforts for promoting the group, but we still lack sufficient knowledge and skills. If we get it, we will make the Peti tole a model one in the VDC”.