Dhuskun – 4 and 8 in Sindhupalchowk, has 150 households who have always been struggling with irrigation water. But the situation worsened recently with small water sources in the vicinity drying up. Now entirely dependent on rain water for irrigation, an agriculture-based livelihood was looking difficult for the farming community. With most men members of the community working away from home, it came upon the women to be responsible for a solution, for their own welfare. A woman in these villages has to collect and carry the family’s water, take care of the children, the elderly, the livestock, and the farmlands. An accessible irrigation scheme for their farmlands meant, women not only have one less thing to worry about; it also meant they have time for progressive opportunities such as literacy trainings, saving group meetings, and more.
For the women of Dhuskun, a plausible solution for the lack of irrigation water turned out to be a river by the name Sukdal some 4kms away. In support of ISARD, a construction committee was formed with Janajagaran Mahila Samuha, a local women’s group, at its core. Women leadership and participation played a key role in the construction process. From digging trenches to building ponds and laying pipe work, every household contributed 15 days of free labor. It took two days for the water from Sukdal to travel to the last village – Phaparchaur, but it did and in abundance. For three communities that have for so long struggled with water, it is joyous to have easy access to it, but it is all the more important that the water is saved and well-utilized. Further plans in the construction of Sukdal Khola irrigation includes construction of Thai Jars or Ferro Cement tanks and installation of drip irrigation to encourage commercial vegetable farming in near future.