Both toilet and clean water are now within Lachhu’s reach
It isn’t easy to find your way if you are blind, especially when living in an inaccessible area like the mountains of Western Nepal. Simple things like going to the toilet or fetching clean water become an enormous challenge.
44-year-old Lachhu Tamata was born blind. When she had to fetch water 150 meters away from her home, she used to stumble many times on the way, especially in the rainy season, when the ground is muddy and slippery. In addition, Lachhu often hit the many domestic animals that walk around in the village. When she had to go to the toilet, she had to ask family members for assistance. Because of her disability, Lachhu was one of the persons that Mission East paid special attention to, when the organization established a new water system and latrines in the village:
“When we establish water systems and latrines in an area, we always check where people with disabilities live. Afterwards, we make sure that systems and latrines are established in places that are easily accessible for these people. The ability to manage basic necessities on their own changes their everyday lives completely, as it makes them less dependent on others,” Peter Drummond Smith, Operations Director for Mission East, explains.
This approach made a big difference for Lachhu. She now has access to clean water only 20 meters away from her home, and a latrine has been built only 10 meters away. In addition, the way has been cleared to minimize hindrances as much as possible. Lachhu smiles, when she tells about her new life: “Before, it was difficult to get water, or find the way to the toilet. Now it is easy”.
This is how Mission East reaches Lachhu’s village:
- From the capital Kathmandu, you can fly to Surkhet in Western Nepal, changing planes once. You can also go by car or public transport. In that case, the trip takes two full days.
- From Surkhet, you walk for three days to get to the areas where Mission East works.
- Mission East works in partnership with local organizations that have permanent staff in the area.
This is why Mission East works in these inaccessible areas:
- This is where the need is greatest.
- Mission East works to ensure clean water, sanitation, enhanced reading skills, awareness of rights and agricultural skills, in order to ensure that the poor and marginalized are able to take part in future development.
- A road is being built which will eventually go through the area and continue to China. It will provide access to the outside world, and hence development.