Water For Salle Village


Dave and I (Dawn), first visited Nepal in 1998, and fell in love with the Country and its people. We had toured the world, but never experienced such heart-warming greetings from people who had so very little


We were Independent Travellers, and not doing a package – we wanted to see the real lives and cultures for ourselves. Our guide was Dan Tamang, and he was one hell of a nice guy! Not only did he help us realise our experience, he also kept us safe and free from trouble – something we only truly came to understand later


As we had no real plan, he invited us to stay in his own village, as his guest – and we were very honoured to accept. Wow! What we experienced would make you weep with joy for mankind’s humanity, and cry for the awful existence, that was their daily lives


We were touched in our hearts


Salle Village is a hillside community of some 200 people, or 30 closely related families. It is near the head of a productive valley, and the Greater Village consists of maybe 500 people. The valley has no river, but the rains stay long enough to provide water for various crops …


… it did not take us long to realise that every day, certain villagers were missing for 8 hours. We watched, and noticed they came back near dusk, carrying large vessels, which contained water. At first, Dan was reluctant to tell us why – as we had been behaving as Westerners, and shaving, washing, cleaning teeth etc with the water provided. Eventually we learnt that the village had borrowed an extra 2 vessels, so we could use water as we wished each day


Did the penny drop? No, it was like a mountain crashed into our understanding of their daily lives. We discovered that each day, and every day; villagers walked 8 miles over rough terrain to get water … and then they walked 8 miles back, carrying the precious fluid. We had been using it like tap water! Needless to say, we were so humble in our apologies and lack of understanding … but this was taken as an insult; we were their guests, and this was their honour to do for us. Words fail me …..


We later returned to England, but never could forget the kindness, no that is too small a word – the humanity shown to us, by people who had - ’nothing’, except themselves. Welcome to real Nepal


Two years later, we returned to Salle Village on a mission … give them water. We personally paid for 8 miles of plastic pipe to be laid from the source to the village, a water butt, and a filter – it cost less than one weeks minimum wage in England. We were so happy for a few days, and the villagers – well, guess for yourselves!


On the third day there was no water. We traced the pipeline, only to find another village nearer to the source had cut it. Ho-hum! Obviously our ‘Quick-fix’ needed a second approach.


The average annual wage in Nepal is about £170 = that’s around $300 USD per year. Yes, per year … We said ‘OK’; we started, so we will finish. We now personally pay for a guy to look after the pipeline 24/7/365. We pay him £180 per year, and he repairs the pipeline, maintains the Header-filter etc. As it turned out, it was more cost effective to install a tap where the pipeline had been cut, as this then ensured the villagers’ en-route never cut the pipeline again. C’est la vie!


All we need for life is Air, Water, and Food – everything else is a mirage we entrust in. Dave and I did a small thing, and it deserves a small comment


But John insisted we share this small thing with you. So now you know a small piece of our personal lives. And what will you do in your small life - that makes a real difference to other peoples lives?


best wishes, and may your god walk with you