Water woes is not a new topic to people who are used to seeing every running faucet followed by tens of empty pitcher. Nor can the uses of water be compromised or reduced. Yet, only few answers can be found for its effective management that will solve the problems. Luckily for us, we can learn something from the effective management of water that can be traced in the traditional stone water system of Kathmandu Valley.
On 26th September 2014, Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness (ECCA) organized water conservation walk in order to aware school students about the water conservation and management in Patan. Out of around 40 students, I led half of them.
The program commenced on 9 am with brief introduction of the participants and my fellow guide for the day (Siddhi Bajracharya) and me. After the group division, I led the group to Maharani Fountain with my team of Heritage UNESCO Centre consisting of Binita Khadgi. We provided the participants with a worksheet, which was prepared on the basis of route map where the students were to fill answers. Tasks, observation, briefing about the place and games made up the worksheet, which we hoped would help keep the students on track. The briefing on traditional ponds and stone water spout, their types and their uses were explained to the participant by following the worksheet and sharing various stories and myths of Patan associated with water.
After walking all morning under the sweltering sun, we hoped that the students had some idea about the traditional water management practices in Kathmandu valley and particularly in Patan. I highly recommend children and adults alike to be a part of such walks at least once. We usually take our precious cultural heritages for granted. Knowing about them up-close can inspire one to take care of it.
Text by Niroj Maharjan