Field Note #207: The Lasting Impact in Dahakhani

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One year after the completion of the Dahakhani water project, this Nepali village is flourishing as the clean water keeps flowing.

Before clean water came to Dahakhani, villagers had to walk at least half an hour to reach the closest water source. Mothers would wait in line with their children for long lengths of time to get safe water for their families’ daily use. After filling all the containers they could possibly carry, they hike with their heavy gallons in-tow back down the lengthy trail to the village. Not only was the task time-consuming, but the water source could not support Dahakhani throughout the entire year.

On October 15, 2017, the Dahakhani water project was officially completed, providing the village with 34 tap stands. With taps scattered between approximately every seven households, no one would be left without clean water for their homes and families.

Thanks to the discovery of a natural spring that rested in the nearby mountains, our team was able to create a sustainable system that would keep clean water flowing to those who needed it most. Pipes are connected to the spring, trailing down the mountain until it reaches a reservoir tank that overlooks the village. Water is then distributed to the village tap stands by underground pipes. Locals, volunteers, and Wine To Water team members alike came together in the hot but cheerful atmosphere of Nepal to implement the technology that would change Dahakhani forever.

We just designed a system on the basis of technical and engineering knowledge, but now we see the evidence as we have gone throughout the year that water is flowing continuously and it has not stopped here.
— Roshani Karki, Nepal National Program Manager

Now, nearly a year after the completion of the Dahakhani water project, the power of clean water is evident in the growing strength and numbers of the village. As word has spread about clean water in Dahakhani, more people are migrating to the village to create better lives for their families. And not only are they investing in themselves, but in the commerce and future of the village.

You can even see the commerce in the community is so much more than what it was a year ago. There’s a drastic difference.
— David Cuthbert, CEO

Shops are opening, providing business and income opportunities. Nearly 20 households have been built in the last year, and a new school is under construction for the local children to pursue their educations. By not having to worry about filling their basic needs, the people are free to pursue other ways to better the lives within their community.

The people of Dahakhani are no longer just surviving; they’re thriving in the powerful wake of clean water. And not only that, but they have taken full ownership of their right to clean water. The Water Use Committee is run by local leaders, made up of strong women and men who are continuing the impact in their community. Together, they ensure that Dahakhani is using the tap system sustainably, so that the water will be there for generations to come.

Because of clean water, you can hear the sound of grinding metal, scraping mortar, and bantering construction men as they work to finish the new school in the heart of the village. You can see new homes lining up down the roads as more people are drawn to the life-giving power of water. You can feel the shift in the people, too; how they are now truly able to live their lives beyond the constraints of scarce water.

Wine To Water is happy to reflect on the year that has passed since the completion of the Dahakhani water project. So much passion and hard work was poured into every detail by community members, volunteers, and staff. We are thrilled to see such growth and prosperity; we are certain there is more to come.


Carsyn Bernhardt
W|W Writing Fellow

Carsyn Bernhardt