No mother can raise a family with dirty water, but Hira has no other choice. She lives in remote Far West Nepal, where clean water is dangerously scarce and poverty is widespread.
Clean water would change everything for Hira. It would mean she could escape poverty and protect her children from life-threatening disease.
Hira makes several trips a day — each time hauling up to 50 litres in a container on her back.
"I go to collect water seven to eight times a day. I need enough for the animals, for using the toilet, for drinking, for taking a bath, for growing food and for the whole family. It takes 30 minutes for one trip," she explains. "But that is only when there is no crowd at the well. If there is a queue then it takes two hours."
Carrying 50 litre containers of water for up to 14 hours of each day, up and down steep mountainsides is back-breaking work.
"I don't know how to express properly how it feels. I carry 40 to 50 litres at night and collect water for the whole family," she says. "Because the water is very cold and my back and whole body are in so much pain from carrying it back in the night. It makes me feel really sick."
Despite all her efforts, the water Hira collects isn't safe for consumption. Her family often falls ill as a result of the dirty water. No family can thrive without clean water.
As Oxfam supporters, you can play a part in ensuring communities have access to water. With your donation we can repair tube wells, install tap stands and initiate projects providing hydropower to remote areas in Nepal and around the world.
In April 2015, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck Nepal, killing over 9,000 people and destroying or damaging over 850,000 homes. Three years on, we're excited to introduce you to three women, Muna, Tirsana and Til, from Sindhupalchowk, Nepal, who were empowered by your support following that devastating day.
The UN is reporting that at least 900 people have been killed by ongoing monsoonal flooding and landslides in India, Bangladesh and Nepal and it is now estimated 43 million people have been affected across the region.
Oxfam has provided water and sanitation in temporary schools in Gorkha, Nepal, after many were destroyed in the 2015 earthquake. Photo: Kieran Doherty/Oxfam
On April 25, 2015, Nepal was struck by a massive 7.6 magnitude earthquake that left nearly 9,000 people dead and destroyed or damaged more than 850,000 homes. Many of the affected people have received some support from the Government of Nepal and aid organisations, but others are still waiting for assistance. The government’s response has been beset by delays, and for the past month the country has been in the grip of a fuel crisis.
As well as destroying and damaging homes, the earthquake also severely impacted employment, and six months on many are still struggling to find work, while those who do often report that their incomes are below pre-earthquake levels. Women, children, the elderly, ethnic minorities, those disadvantaged by the caste system and people living with disabilities have all been disproportionately affected by the earthquake and its aftermath. The problem of landlessness, widespread before the quake, has also worsened.
As winter approaches, the situation needs to be urgently addressed and recovery and reconstruction put back on track. This joint-agency media briefing summarizes the current situation and the challenges to be overcome as the effort continues.
Six months on, Oxfam has already reached 445,000 people with food, access to clean water and sanitation and support in shelter in seven affected districts. We are still working hard in Nepal to help communities get back on their feet after the earthquake.
With the help of our generous supporters, Oxfam has reached more than 360,000 people with vital emergency aid in Nepal.
Three months since the earthquake in Nepal, women take rebuilding into their own hands.