Gita Thapa lives with a family of eight in the semi-urban region of Bhaitari. Her family’s income is secured through her husband’s and her elder son’s pensions from the Indian Army; however, Gita is very passionate about agriculture, and spends most of her time in her kitchen garden.
Most of the men in Bhaitari are members of the Indian army and posted away from the village, this leaves the women responsible for looking after the home including collecting water and managing the agriculture. Gita and her two daughters-in-law fetch water two to three times every day for domestic and agricultural needs. The process is very time-consuming and exhausting; the hilly landscape of Nepal means hazardous journeys up and down steep slopes carrying a heavy load. Each journey can take up to an hour. On top of that, the water resources are typically of poor quality and under stress from the impacts of climate change.
In 2017, Renewable World installed a solar-powered watering system in Gita’s village to lift water from the source to the community. Following the installation of the system, Gita joyfully exclaimed that she now has more time to get involved in agriculture activities. She has leased some land from a neighbor and has been putting into practice the agriculture trainings that was provided as a part of the project. Gita has started growing high value vegetable crops and in the last season has begun to earn an income from her hard work by selling her produce in the nearby market. Apart from agriculture activities, she now has more spare time in the morning and evening because she no longer needs to worry about collecting water. Time which she spends resting and socializing. Gita is relieved: “Life has become easier now” she says.
The solar water pumping system among rice fields in Bhaitari Village