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Water crisis hits Melamchi

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Melamchi, June 14, 2016: Last year’s April earthquakes and a long drought have led to a severe water crisis in various parts of Sindhupalchowk, including Melamchi.

Residents of Melamchi Municipality-6 complain that they are suffering from a severe water crisis because water sources have either closed off due to the earthquake or dried up in the drought.

Many residents are forced to walk for hours to reach the nearest water source because of the crisis. Mahendra Ghale of Khanegaun, Melamchi, says that he has to spend all his mornings walking, and then waiting for hours in queue just so he can have some water for subsistence. Even then, it is not guaranteed that he will have water, because supply is so scarce that sometimes it runs out before everybody can fill their buckets.

Because there is no water now in many villages that were water-rich prior to the earthquake, animal-husbandry, farming, and cultivation of fruits has been severely impacted, ruining livelihoods of many. Many families have chosen to move to migrate because of the debilitating effects of the water crisis.

Residents of Melamchi have also complained that the response of government officials to their plight has been one of complete apathy and indifference. After making false assurances, government agencies have taken no steps to attempt to solve the crisis.

It is worth noting that a ‘Melamchi Water Supply Project’ has been in the pipeline for quite a while now to bring water to Kathmandu Valley.