In the Nillamba Stage II Colony Gampola Udapalatha in the Kandy District there are forty families who are facing a severe drinking water problem. They do not have wells or any likelihood of possible connections to the main Government water supply network. At present somebody from these families have to trudge around 3 kms, up and down, to fetch drinking water, undertaken mostly by women, children and elderly people. This problem has been the subject of discussions along with field visits for a long time with no likely solution in sight. The local Gram Niladhari and Assistant Government Agent of the area have been closely involved in these discussions along with the community.
They have collectively produced a workable solution to their desperate need for drinking water, to tap a perennial water source upstream without any serious repercussion to the environment of the area or other users. This water source will be tapped to direct some of the water to a stock tank constructed by the community. The water so stored will be distributed to the user forty families through PVC pipelines laid by the community. They will start off initially with twenty five families and gradually will increase the coverage perhaps up to forty families, once they find that the water is sufficient for a larger community.
The water will be brought down to the user families through gravity involving no expenses for pumping. The whole scheme was planned and will be managed by the community. They have handled the construction and will also manage the maintenance of the project through a maintenance fund collected from the user families, fixed at present at Rs.60 monthly from each family. All the labour for construction has been contributed by the community.
It will be managed by the CBO Nillambe Praja Mula Sanvidanaya affiliated to the NGO, Gampola Uda Palatha Praja Shakthi Padanama, who has been actively engaged for over 10 years with the Kandy District DC, HIFCO and SLCDF. The CBO has been functioning effectively for a period of over 10 years and has established itself as a reputed CBO in the area.
What has to be highlighted here is that the whole project has been planned, by the community with active support from the local Government machinery. It will be managed by the community and maintenance aspects will be handled by the users through their well-managed CBO.
SLCDF has provided a small sum considering the community enthusiasm and already initiated work using barefoot type of resources of this wholly community planned water project. The cement tank to trap silt from flowing water has been built up by the community. The pvc pipelines to take the water to the two plastic tanks acting as a stock tank have already been laid.
We are happy to note that the project is already operational and providing drinking water to 25 families.
The whole project will be intensively monitored and managed by the CBO to prevent improper use of the precious water meant exclusively for cooking purposes.
Perhaps the greatest benefit to the community derived from implementing this project has been the enhanced unity that has been generated within the community. The community and its CBO has gained much from the whole experience of planning and implementing the project.