LIFE IN A CROWDED CITY
The population of Kathmandu Valley, Nepal is only two million, but the space is smaller than you’d think. With up to 13,000 people living in each square kilometer, the population density is five times greater than that of New York City.
Which means that an abundance of water isn’t a reality for many. Here, hundreds of families are forced to share the same public fountains every day. People wait in line to collect water that you wouldn’t dream of giving to someone you love.
30 TRIPS EACH DAY
At Shramik Shanti School, the situation wasn’t much different. Groundskeepers were assigned the responsibility of collecting water from the same nearby water source. Dedicated women like Asha walked back and forth up to 30 times each day, collecting one jug at a time so they could give water to the students. They had no other option.
In the end, every student at Shramik Shanti School would get to drink one cup of water.
A GOAL FOR 100% COVERAGE
But in December 2008, our local partner, Splash, set out on a mission to bring clean water to every public school in Kathmandu. And they chose to start the partnership with us by changing the way water works at Shramik Shanti School.
With charity: water funding, they purified the same water that was going to the dirty fountain outside and pumped it into the school. Splash built an iron removal system on the rooftop and then piped water through a purification unit inside the school so students could have clean water at separate drinking and hand washing stations.
CLEAN WATER ALL THE TIME
For the kids and staff at Shramik Shanti School, clean water changed everything. Today, Asha gets to spend her time working with student groups instead of collecting water, and the kids here no longer get sick from water-related diseases.
For the first time, all 1,500 students at Shramik Shanti School have access to clean water.
And they get as many refills at they want.
Photos: Eric Stowe