Towards Total Sanitation and Water Safe Communities : Transforming Hapani Village

RRN strives to shape a society that is just, equitable, peaceful, and prosperous through social, economic and political empowerment of the poor.

Hapani, a remote and rural settlement comprising 48 Chepang households, is located 35 kilometers to the north of Kurintar along the Prithvi highway. This village falls within Ichhakamana Rural Municipality-2 in the Chitwan district. Before the initiation of the project by Rural Reconstruction Nepal (RRN) and Welthungerhilfe, the community faced significant challenges.

Nine households within Hapani used to practice open defecation due to a lack of awareness about sanitation and hygiene. Furthermore, the water supply system in the area was poorly managed, characterized by a limited number of community tap-stands, above-ground pipes that couldn’t meet the needs of all households, water shortages during the dry season, and water quality issues that rendered the water unsafe to drink. During the dry season, many community members had to travel a kilometer to fetch drinking water from unimproved wells. Faced with these challenges, the residents sought assistance from RRN/WHH to improve their water supply system.

RRN/WHH responded by constructing a drinking water supply system that served all 48 households. This system included two intakes, two reservoirs, a transmission pipeline, a distribution pipeline, and tap stands equipped with metered connections. Additionally, a comprehensive six-month hygiene education program was conducted, along with household monitoring, as part of a broader sanitation campaign. This initiative also aligned with national and international celebrations promoting hygiene and sanitation.

As a result of participating in the six-month hygiene program and total sanitation monitoring, the community members began to exhibit positive changes in their behavior. They started building and using toilets in all households, using water filters to ensure the safety of their drinking water, practicing handwashing at crucial times, handling food safely, and maintaining clean households and surroundings through proper waste management. With the technical assistance of the project, W-WASH-CC collaborated with RM-WASH-CC to declare Hapani a “towards total sanitation and water-safe community.”

On August 23, 2022, Ichchhakamana Rural Municipality officially recognized Hapani as a “towards total sanitation and water-safe community” during a ceremony attended by Mr. Dan Bhadur Gurung, the chairperson of Ichhakamana, Vice-chairperson Ms. Maya Silwal, the ward chairperson of Ichhakamana-2, representatives from RRN, representatives from Welthungerhilfe, and other stakeholders.

At present, every household in Hapani has water-sealed toilets, water facilities in their yards, utensil washing and drying racks, and a heightened awareness of personal and environmental sanitation practices, including hand washing at crucial times, street and perimeter cleaning, and the separation of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste for proper disposal.

Hit Maya Chepang, a youth social worker in the village, proudly shared that, with the support of RRN/WHH and the collective efforts of the local community, Hapani in Ichchhakamana has become an exemplary “towards total sanitation and water-safe community.” The community is committed to maintaining this status in the future.

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