The residents of Dewal and Kanakot, Dadeldhura district, Far Western Nepal] who have been looking for [a] water source for the past 4 years, have purchased a water source [from a teacher] in the neighboring village [of Bhukuda] at Rs. 0.8 million [US$ 10,800]. Drinking water sources are being purchased and sold at millions of rupees after the old sources started to dry up.
[...] Not only the residents of Dewal and Kanakot, most of the villagers in the district are suffering from water woes. Many drinking water projects are started in the district but most of them are in disorder and incomplete due to lack of water. It is obvious to sell a water source in private land or ask for the price of encroached land but water source[s] in public land and forest of the village are bring sold and purchased [for] millions of rupees.
One out of three drinking water projects operated in Dewal has been postponed for not having a water source. The project is in disorder after the villagers of the neighboring Bagarkot VDC did not agreed to give water from the source in Melta. “The villagers demanded Rs. 1 million [US$ 12,900] for the source,” said concerned official, adding, “We have postponed the project worth Rs. 4 million [US$ 51,600] as we could afford Rs. 1 million [US$ 12,900] ] for the water source alone.”
“The existing law does not permit trade of water sources,” said chief district officer of Dadeldhura Parshuram Aryal, adding, “It is a big crime to sell natural heritage.” However, disputes occur in many villages regarding ownership and use of water source[s].
Source: DR Panta, Kantipur / NGO Forum, 26 April 2009