Meet Rigmo Village
Ask any village in remote parts of mountainous Qinghai Province what their key problem is – the thing holding them back from thriving as a village – and the common answer is “we don’t have enough water”. For many villages, the nearest water source is an hour or more walk away. Not only that, it’s usually located in a valley requiring a steep descent and an incredibly challenging return to the village with a heavy load of water. Here’s a quick summary of the challenges this presents for the daily life of a villager:
- Due to a large portion of the young adults of a village working casual jobs in the nearby city, the job of fetching water is largely the responsibility of the elderly and children;
- Children miss school to collect water;
- Collecting water is physically demanding and in winter, dangerous. The result is the you never collect enough water;
- Limited water means use is limited to just the urgent things. Children typically don’t drink enough; there is infrequent washing; general hygiene is absent; and the growing of vegetables kept to just the basics.
If water was more accessible, the benefits would be immediate and almost unlimited for a village. It would transform their lives.
Welcome to the Captivating Clean Water Project – a project bringing unlimited clean running water to mountainous remote village communities.
Captivating, through our Qinghai based partner – Shamtse Charity, has access to water experts, engineers, program designers and surveyors who are able to design and implement the most cost effective and efficient solutions for mountainous village locations. These solutions literally bring water directly into a village with multiple outlets spread throughout the village, bringing water to within 20 meters of the family home. Captivating funds the majority of the materials and 100% of the expertise, while the village supplies all the labor as well as a personal contribution to the materials (this ensures buy-in to the project).
WHY DO THIS PROJECT? It provides IMMEDIATE and LONG TERM benefits:
- STOPS the current problem of kids regularly dropping out of school to fetch water. The children will not only receive regular education but will also have more time to focus on their after school study time;
- ENABLES parents to develop more income-producing opportunities at home due to a constant water supply – an outcome that might encourage them to consider remaining in the village working family businesses, rather than being forced to leave home to work in the city;
- IMPROVES villager health by providing constant and unlimited clean water for drinking, washing, and the ability to grow more green vegetables to eat.
So, why isn’t a village already doing it:
- This solution needs significant investment (average of US$700 per family), which is beyond the reach of most families;
- To make it possible, it requires most of the families in the village to invest in the solution;
- Village committees don’t have access to expertise, engineers, and designers. As a result, without the right expertise they are concerned that the solution might not work and the money would be wasted.
Meet Rigmo Village
Rigmo Village – a story of total transformation.
Rigmo, with a population of 270, is a village located at high altitude in Xunwa Salar Autonomous County, Eastern Qinghai Province. It is home to 36 families including 63 children.
When we first heard of Rigmo, children were not receiving constant and regular education because of water collecting duties. Villagers (mostly the elderly and children) would stand in long lines waiting for their opportunity to get water. For the elderly, this time should have been spent doing more productive duties – earning more income, growing more vegetables, or helping children with their schooling. Village health was also suffering from poor hygiene practices and limited water consumption.
February 2015, saw this all change with the commencement of the Captivating Clean Water Project – a project funded by Husky Energy.
“My name is Drugmo Tserang. I am the eldest of four children at my home so I was the one to look after family chores when my parents were away digging herbs and working outside to earn money to feed the family.
I have never been to school due to my family responsibilities. I have been fetching water since I was 6 years old and it is very hard. I turned 22 this year. Fetching water would usually involve me going down to the valley to fetch water in a wooden bucket. I would do this with other girls from the village usually 4 or more times a day.
I was responsible for fetching water for 12 years, until I was old enough to generate income for the family. Since then, my second younger sister has been taking over the water collecting activities. She is studying in the local school and quite often she and the other students miss school to collect the water. What can we do? We cannot survive without water.
“All this changed last year thanks to the new running water project implemented by Shamtse Charity and Captivating International, and thanks to funding from Husky Energy.
“Things are much better now. My sister does not miss any school. We are drinking more water and living healthier. So much time is now saved which allows us to be much more productive with our time. Our house is located at the highest point of the village and we were worried that the water wouldn’t come through to us. But, the water pressure is very strong and we are very pleased. Also, we have not had trouble to get water even in the cold winter as we can easily keep the black tube part warm. The water system is functioning very well and the villagers are VERY happy. The village committee regularly check the spring where the main water tank has been built and buried and it remains in very good condition. The main valve that controls the whole system has also been inspected and is functioning well.
“Our old people are also very happy. They do not have to get up early and wait in a long line fetch water; there is less arguing in the village over who should be fetching water; and, parents are able to work longer and earn more money because we have running water. Thank you so much Shamtse, Captivating International, and Husky Energy. Our lives are so much better thanks to your generosity.”
Jaja Village Water Project is helping 66 families & a primary school;
- Connect to a nearby water source
- Saves 66 families time to focus on earning more income rather than collecting water
- Helps to keep kids in school as the children don’t have to spend hours collecting water everyday
- Improves health and hygiene for every family member
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Thank you to our project partners