Kichahi Water Project
Updated: Jul 25, 2019
At the end of August 2008, there was massive flooding in many parts of Nepal. In Kichahi it resulted in a change in the course of the groundwater that fed the spring that brought a small amount of water to the village. Water piped from the spring fed a few distribution points in the village of some 400 families, who, until 2000, had been held in rural slavery.
There was no other water available to the village. Attempts to dig a well were futile. After reaching 95 feet deep in a 6' x 6' area, the man digging the well was hit by a stone that fell from the surface, and it took heroic efforts to extricate him from the dry hole. The women and girls of the village walked for miles to get water and were resented when they visited wells at neighboring villages.
When we visited Kichahi in October 2008, we found out about this desperate need for water. We found abundant water near the road 1.7 km away. While negotiating to buy land at this place, we encountered some feigned friendship. The land price tripled before we could close a deal to buy half an acre. After drilling a well down to 15 meters, outright hostility developed, and the sellers demanded the land back.
The half-acre site at the crossroads now has a water tower next to the well, and two houses for families who will look after the pumping station. Water will be pumped to a tank on the tower so that it can flow down the 1.7 km to a sump at Kichahi. Dozens of volunteers participated to dig a trench for a buried pipe from the crossroads to Kichahi.
In May 2009, a water treatment system was installed at the Kichahi church. Water from the sump will be pumped into the system to deliver a steady supply of chlorinated and filtered drinking water. Water will also be available for domestic purposes and for farming for the families of Kichahi.