Bhelgari Drinking Water Supply was inaugurated on April 9, 2023, with a ribbon cutting to the motor house and switching on the water pump. Those who participated in the inauguration included Nilkhanta Khanal, vice mayor of Birendranagar municipality; Dev Kumar Subedi, previous mayor of the municipality; Julien Vinciotti, vice president of AEIN Luxembourg; Liliane Leyder, board member of AEIN; and Francois Binsfeld, executive director of AEIN. They also opened the water tap near the overhead water tank, collected water and poured the water into the flower pot placed on a podium. Chirendra Satyal, treasurer of NNS and Suchita Kullu, SCN, vice provincial for the province, also attended this special event, along with various organizations, donor agencies in Luxembourg, journalists and media.
The program began by welcoming the guests with the local band and taking them in a procession. There were speeches, a cultural program by child clubs of Navjyoti, and honoring the organizations and persons who helped in the successful completion of the project. Bhelgari is part of ward No.10 of Birendranagar municipality where people experience an acute shortage of drinking water. The inhabitants are mostly from Muslim and Tharu communities. They were forced to drink water from the open streams. With the financial support of AEIN Luxembourg and Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, an overhead water tank with a capacity of 130,000 liters has been completed at the cost of one crore and twenty lacs. A bore well has been dug with the support of different funding agencies and Birendranagar municipality. The entire structure has been handed over to the municipality by Navjyoti Center for future management.
Through the Bhelgari drinking water and sanitation consumer committee, a hundred families have received water in their homes and a hundred families have registered their names. At present, they have drinking water for 24 hours in their own homes. The Consumer Committee expects the number to go up to a thousand families. Though the rate for the water connection has been kept at a nominal amount of Rs. 6000, there are families who are not able to afford it. So registration is a slow process. Yet they are thrilled to see water in their own homes.
Information and photos shared by Sister Rosita.