New Support To Gurkha Heartlands


Britain will provide clean water and sanitation to retired Gurkha soldiers, their families and communities in Nepal


Published on 07 February 2014

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by The Rt Hon Alan Duncan MP

(WireNews+Co)

London, England

A Woman Collects Clean Water From A Tap In Nepal
A Woman Collects Clean Water From A Tap In Nepal

Britain will provide clean water and sanitation to retired Gurkha soldiers, their families and communities living in remote Nepali hilltop villages, the Minister of State Alan Duncan announced today following a visit to the Gurkha heartlands.

Access to clean water means retired Gurkha soldiers can live out their lives in dignity in Nepal, their families can enjoy good health, and their children can go to school rather than spend their days trekking to fetch clean water.

New funding of £10 million will enable the construction of 400 water supply systems and nearly 10,000 latrines, through the Gurkha Welfare Scheme.

Poor sanitation and lack of clean water is a major issue in rural Nepal and thousands of children under five die each year from preventable water-borne diseases.

This year marks 200 years since the start of the Anglo Nepali war (1814-16), where the British first recognised the potential of the fierce Gurkha warriors and began recruiting them. 2014 also marks the centenary of the First World War: Gurkhas fought in France, Turkey, Palestine and Mesopotamia.

Minister of State Alan Duncan said:

"Britain has a powerful historic link with the Gurkhas. We are getting clean water and sanitation to the hilltop Nepali communities from which we have recruited soldiers.

"It may seem simple but it is transforming communities. Retired Gurkha soldiers can spend their last years in good health and dignity, and their grandchildren can spend their days going to school, rather than travelling long distances to fetch clean water. This is something the British public can be proud of."

The water projects DFID funds are delivered through the Gurkha Welfare Scheme which provides aid to Gurkha ex-servicemen, their families and communities. As well as getting clean water supplies into homes and schools in some of Nepal’s remotest communities, the Gurkha Welfare Scheme runs residential homes for the elderly, provides medical care, and educates communities about sanitation.

The work DFID has already done to provide Gurkha communities with clean water has had multiple knock-on benefits, especially for women. Improved sanitation not only saves women’s lives, it will also save them on average three hours a day in time spent collecting water. Meanwhile children can go to school rather than collect water.

 


For more information about this press release including Editor's Notes and contact details visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-support-to-gurkha-heartlands

 


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Posted 2014-02-07 10:33:00