Though the source of drinking water is the same, the taps are distributed differently based on the lower and upper caste at Sanphebagar-2 in Achham. There are three wells derived from the same source and used separately by people from Kunwar community, BK community, and Aauji (Pariyar) community.
A tank was constructed almost a year back deriving water from all these sources to supply water to a total of 150 households of Kunwar, BK, and Aauji community at Baghbhidi Tole of Saphebagar Municipality-2 in Achham. However, the drinking water is distributed only through two taps: one for the Kunwar community and the other for the BK and Aauji community.
As the water is not regular in their taps since sometimes back, the people from the BK and Aauji community are forced to walk 1 hour to fetch water from the forest. A 50-year-old local, Jogi Bk said that though the water comes for 8 hours in the tap of the Kunwar community, the people from Dalit communities are not allowed to fetch water from that tap.
However, the ward chairperson of Sanphebagar municipality-2, Kalu Singh countered the statements from the Dalit community by stating that there is no discrimination like they had said. He accepted the escalating problems due to scarcity of drinking water and mentioned that construction of deep boring has been already started to solve the drinking water problem.
The source of water lies below a barren hill. A forest fire destroyed half of the plants planted for the conservation of water sources. A 38-year-old local Jayandra Kunwar said " If we can create a green patch in the barren hill, then water would be sufficient for the village. We shall do the afforestation ourselves if we are provided with tree saplings." As per him, the conflict has started over the access to drinking water after the source is drying up. He also accepted increment in caste-based discrimination with the heightened scarcity of water.
August 03, 2018