Water shortage worsens in Valley after quake[courtesy: Republica]

by RIWAJ RAI

KATHMANDU, May 7: The daily ordeal of dealing with inadequate drinking water supply has worsened for Bimala Paudel of Rabi Bhawan after the quake. After a long wait, the retired government school teacher fills up a few gallons barely enough for her family, but the water is not drinkable. The water can best be used for washing purposes only.

Rekha Adhikari, a resident of new Naikap, shares a similar plight. She has been dealing with the water shortage purchasing water jars from nearby shops. She wonders what would happen after she finishes up the last jar of water. To cope up the water shortage in the Valley, Adhikari has been dependent on bore water.

“Shortage of drinking water has always been our major problem. But supply of contaminated water has added to our problems. But then we don’t have a choice either,” said Adhikari.

As a Valley is suffering from acute water shortage, thousands of locals have become dependent on bore water. The heavy tremor that jolted Nepal has damaged water pipelines across the Valley.

According to Milan Kumar Shakya, spokesperson at KUKL (Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited), the earthquake has damaged many drinking water pipes inside the Valley and controlling water leakage has become a major challenge.

“Water pipelines have been damaged at several places and we are trying our best to repair them at the earliest. Several team of technicians have been deployed to fix the pipes,” said Shakya.

As per their preliminary survey, the drinking water pipes at Lalitpur, Kalimati, Chapagaun and Balaju area have been badly damaged.

As the water sources have been contaminated after the quake, Valley residents are worried about the spread of water-borne diseases.

“In order to prevent the outbreak of water borne diseases, water supplied to the Valley is being treated with the latest German technology. Until now, we have already distributed 200 tankers of treated water to various areas in Valley,” said Shakya.

Meanwhile, Baburam Marasini, director of Nepal’s Epidemiology and Disease Control Division assured that there are no chances of the epidemic outbreak. “There is no need to panic as the government has been treating the water supplied to Valley residents,” said Marasini. 

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