Drinking water in Kathmandu is always a challenge. First, there is the inadequate and irregular supply. Sometimes there will be no fresh drinking water for 2 weeks. Therefore, almost all the houses have one or more black water tanks on the roof.
Secondly, there is the problem with the water pressure. If water is supplied, everyone fills his/her water tanks all at once. Obviously this causes problems with the water pressure.
Separately, the quality of drinking water has always been a source of concern. The KTM drinking water is bacteria in it that causes disease. Many Nepali there are more or less immune to those, but for foreigners it is really better to avoid them. Drinking bottled water is heavily recommended.
In Nepal, many people use the same bottled water machines that you can also see in many companies in the west. With those big blue bottles. However, this solution is costly and labor intensive. They turned out to be not the best solution for the NWCSS orphanage, because the machines easily break.
Many companies and institutions in Nepal use a water filter system which makes the water cleaner, but not clean enough for foreigners. For the Nepali it seems to be a reasonable alternative, because they are used to it and it is a lot better than nothing.
Therefore 4SmilingFaces has repaired the existing filter system after it has been damaged by the earthquakes. Knowing that it is not the perfect solution, but it is currently the least bad option, because:
- they need a reliable supply of drinking water now to prevent further diseases, infections and dehydration
- the current system is used by many institutions in Nepal
- this is what works in Nepal, what people are used to
- if the children in the orphanage drink perfectly clean and bacteria-free water while elsewhere in the country the are still using the current imperfect filter system, they will still become ill after drinking that and that doesn’t help.