Despite having several water sources, Jumbukadh VDC was deprived from drinking water due to poor economic condition. Local Communities lobbied with District Development Committee to bring the water scheme in facilitation support of Dalit Jagaran Kendra. Establishment of scheme was completed in 2008 serving 142 households of Ward 1 and 2 through 32 water taps. Local communities had raised their concerns on corruption and low quality construction that freeze 22 lakhs budget out of 52 lakhs of the total investment. Due to lower quality of the construction, the water supply system started giving trouble shared Birendra BK, user of the scheme.
Social Accountability tool based interaction provided a platform for analyzing causes of non functionality of the schemes. The users shared why no one was bothered even when there was no covering of the lid of the tank, why no one had done anything when someone had cut the pipe in middle to collect the water. They raised the concern why users were not concerned even when users committees were not active and meeting regularly to find the solution for continuing the scheme.
Bishnu Sharma, Publisher, Dhama Local Daily opined that service providers should not only invest huge fund in construction but also equally focus on strengthening local competency of users so that they were able to take care of these constructed structures for ensuring sustained use of these services. Social Accountability tools provides as a strong means for increasing capacity of the users in analyzing the current situation and find potential reformative actions for strengthening accountability of the concerned stakeholders.
These interventions had helped the user committee representatives to declare their commitments in promoting participation, transparency and accountable practices pointed out Ridam Kumari Sahi, Local SA Facilitator.
District Water and Sanitation Divisional Office together with Gramin Sewa Kendra Dailekh facilitated establishment of Dadhkhola Chyangramare Water and Sanitation Users Committee in Bhawani VDC, Illaka 2 for initiating the water scheme in 2006 AD. The scheme comprised of 22 taps, 3 intake, 3 RVT worth NRs 31 lakhs for serving 75 households and 1 school. The scheme was supposed to last for 20 years. However, as users and user committees did not pay attention in maintaining the scheme, the deterioration of the water supply system was evidenced by the fact that there were not any functional taps only after 8 years of its establishment.
Villagers were not hesitant even to cut the pipes in between to get easy access to water. It caused conflict among the local community members over the water accessibility dispute. There was not any operational and maintenance (O&M) cost. The situation was further deteriorated by destruction of one of the intakes due to last year’s flood (2013 AD).
It was one of the schemes selected for adopting Social Accountability (SA) Tools in funding support of SNV Nepal together with FEDWASUN in technical assistance of SAP Nepal. Mim Bahadur Sahi was the local SA facilitator who initiated the discussions on the accountability of users, user committees, service providers and government stakeholders using Community Score Card. In the Preliminary CSC preparation dissemination Illaka Level Public Hearing, Rabindra Basnet, Chairperson of the user committee accepted that there was not periodic meeting of Users Committees and General Assembly. Therefore, it was difficult to manage OM Fund along with mobilization of Village Maintenance Worker (VMW).
As the process of conducting Social Audit, an independent team (5 team members) was formulated comprising of teacher, media personnel, local intellectual and social leaders along with local SA Facilitator. In this process, further analyses were done in the operation of user committees and procurement process. In the basis of Social Audit and preliminary findings of Community Score Card, an Illaka level public hearing was organized for collecting responses from the accountable User Committee Members. It was the platform when the decision making members of the committee realized their drawbacks and committed for actions to improve their governance.
These gatherings were able to generate more inspiration among-st users committee members to play for active role in ensuring participation of the users. They had initiated process of organizing regular meetings and interactions among-st users and user committee members. They had prepared the plan of action for corrective measures. In the span of three months, they had regularized monthly meeting, establishment of O&M fund, mobilization of VMW, maintenance of transmission line, water source protection. After all these interventions, the villages felt proud to have well functioning taps to quench their thirst.
The Chairperson of the Committee had realized that millions of investment would not work until and unless there were mechanisms like Social Accountability to bind community together in a cause of sustaining the development initiatives.
Water Scheme Before Intervention
Water Scheme After Intervention