Families in Nepal are facing a clean water crisis

In poor and remote communities, clean water is dangerously scarce and families must survive on dirty water.

Hira lives in remote Far West Nepal, where nearly 3 in 4 people don't have clean water

In this mountainous region, poverty is widespread and water is dangerously scarce. In Hira's village, there is no access to clean drinking water — everyone survives on dirty water.

To have water for her family, Hira collects 100 litres a day

In Australia, getting clean water is as simple as turning on a tap. But imagine if there was no tap in your home and you had to walk to collect water.

Instead of going to work or school, many hours of your day would be spent collecting water.

Collecting hundreds of litres a day would make life very difficult — almost unbearable.

This is the daily reality for women like Hira.

Hira spends 14 hours a day collecting water

There is no access to water in her village so she must trek across harsh terrain to reach a distant well. She also goes at night, braving icy temperatures, because the well is often empty during the day.

She makes several trips a day — each time hauling up to 50 litres in a container on her back.

Hira is not alone. Many Nepali women struggle to collect water

“It’s so cold outside at night and waking up and doing this much work in a day is very hard for me. Because the water is very cold and my back and whole body are in so much pain from carrying it back in the night. It makes me feel really sick.”

— Hira

"We collect water at night … It's so dark and so cold, but to live we have to sacrifice our sleep. Sometimes we carry 50 litres in each trip."

— Gomati

"Being nine months pregnant and carrying heavy water on my back … it makes me really worried about me and my child's future."

— Kiran

"My back is too painful sometimes … 50 litres of water is so heavy.

But if I carry smaller jars, like 30 litres, then I have to go several more times to collect water for the whole family."

— Basanti

The water that Hira collects is dirty and unsafe

But since there is no clean water where she lives, she has no other option.

Because families in Far West Nepal must drink dirty water to survive, they frequently fall ill from waterborne diseases like diarrhoea.

More than 92% of children aged under five get diarrhoea — for many, it can be life-threatening.

Dirty water is hurting families in Nepal

“My son gets sick with things like a fever, a cold and sometimes skin problems and diarrhoea from the water.

The water is so dirty … But what is there to do? We have to drink this water. We have no choice."

— Hira

"My baby is sick for a whole month, every two months.

"I feel worried and scared … he is just too young to have that sickness."

— Basanti

"We get sick because of the water.

"Mostly it's a fever and a cold and my skin gets dry and there are lots of other problems with my skin, it makes me very sad."

— Ram

"We get sick two or three times a month because of water; it's almost every week. We go [to the] hospital every time and it's a two-hour walk to go to the hospital."

— Uttara

Clean water saves lives

Oxfam is on the ground in Nepal installing tap stands and improved water and sanitation systems for households and communities. Because no family can be strong and healthy without clean water.

But we can't do this without you. With your help, we can give families clean drinking water so they can thrive.



Til is a 60-year-old Nepali woman from Sindhupalchowk, a district located north-east of Kathmandu. Water had always been scarce in her village. As a young mother, she would trek to a distant water source to fill heavy pots with water for her family. But when the earthquake struck in 2015, her main source of water was ruined and she had to drink contaminated ground water.

Thanks to the generosity of people like you, Oxfam could give Til's village the materials and support they needed to install a water tap — and now clean water always flows.

"I don’t know what to say to people that far away in Australia. From that far away, although they did not see with their eyes, they saw with their hearts and sent support." — Til

Meet Til

When the Nepal earthquake struck in 2015, Til's main source of water was destroyed. But thanks to the support of people like you, Oxfam installed a water tap in her village.

Meet Til

Hira dreams of clean water

Hira has never had access to clean drinking water. Clean water, as simple as it may seem, would change her life forever. 

"I have a big dream that if we had one tap for four families, or even a tap for every family, it would be a new life," she says. "Water is the only thing we need to live."

You can change lives in Nepal

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