Monjo and Chhumoa villages lie adjacent to Sagarmatha National Park (SNP), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These villages are also located at strategic destinations from a tourism and safety point of view. Although these villages are small in size, having 67 households with 277 population, more than 58,000 international trekkers with twofold of supporting staff pass through these villages. The changes and development in the tourism sector over the last decades in the Khumbu region have created new opportunities and challenges for the people of these villages. While tourism has brought much-needed income to the local people, it has also created a high demand for scare natural resources such as drinking water supply, forest resources, natural environment, etc. Moreover, there is also an increasing trend of local in-migration taking place over the last few years, particularly after the 2015 earthquakes. People from other areas are also attracted to these villages because of tourism business opportunities and safe refuge.
People of these villages belong to different levels of income, few of the households who own tourist lodges and teashops have good businesses and are economically well off, but people who still depend on agricultural practices are fairly poor and struggle to survive. Therefore, more than 50 percent of the local populations of these villages are still living to undersupply of basic human needs.
Safe, sufficient and sustainable water supply for cooking, washing, drinking, toilet, shower, fire hydrant, irrigation and cattle feeding in the basic requirement of these villages. There is a lack of regular and sufficient clean drinking water supply in these villages. A woman takes major responsibilities in household chores, operating lodges and teashops, agriculture and livestock activities, the lack of sufficient water supply has added an additional burden of workload to the women.
The implementation of rural water supply project has been on the high priority of the government planning in Nepal even though the achievement to provide safe drinking water through piped water supply is limited due to difficult geography for materials transportation, lack of perennial water source, high cost for a small project, scattered community settlement, etc. The government has set a target of providing drinking water supply facilities to all people to fulfill the global commitment; however, the target is yet to be met. Moreover, the emphasis has also been laid on the promotion of sanitation and personal hygiene maintaining linkages of these activities with water supply. As per the demand and request of the community to implement a water supply project, priority is to be given to those schemes which have water scarcity, hardship to fetch water, people’s commitment for participation and project sustainability.
The proposed Monju community water supply project is the type of project that is in line with the government’s interest area and the community’s urgent need. At the international level, it meets the sustainable development goal of the United Nations. This project is a Gravity Flow Water Supply Project with distribution by connecting pipes to each and every household. Also, the project aims to install Fire hydrant units at strategic places and use the surplus water for irrigation purposes.
The Monjo community Water Supply and Fire Hydrant Project covers Monjo and Chhumoa villages in the Everest Trails of Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality, ward – 3, Solukhumbu District. This Rural Municipality is situated in the north-eastern part of the district. These villages also lie adjacent to the Sagarmatha National Park and are important tourism centers.
The project area lies in the north-eastern part of Solukhumbu with a minimum of 3 day’s walking distance from the district headquarter Salleri. There is little track opened a rough road from Salleri to Kharikhola and the local government is working hard to reach the road track opening project to the Municipality office at Chaurikharka by 2022. Another access to the project area is to take a half an hour’s flight from Kathmandu to Lukla airport and walk for five hours from Lukla airport.