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"A lot of water is required to grow vegetables. It was a misconception that I held. One can actually use the waste water collected from washing the dishes and excess water from the taps to produce vegetables," stated Chijkumari B. K. pointing at her vegetable garden.

A resident of Bishalchowk, Sukranagar VDC Ward No. 2, Chijkumari in front of her kitchen gardenChitwan district, Chijkumari and her family had to rely on market vegetables in the past. Since June 2011 NEWAH supported to initiate the Amrithagar WASH project which included water supply services, health and hygiene awareness programme, household visits and campaigns to raise people's awareness. Not, only these activities but the use of waste water was also promoted to grow vegetables in the kitchen garden. People were made to realize that this would help to improve their nutrition and also give them the opportunity to make extra income if taken up as a profession. Thus, this had encouraged Chikumari to grow vegetables in her 2,754 square feet plot of land. 

Vegetables like cauli flower, cabbage, and carrots have already been sold in the market and seasonal vegetables like garlic, onion, spinach are presently growing in her garden. Her family who majorly depended on daily wages, now at least don’t have to spend on vegetables from the market. Chijkumari has been able to afford copies and pencils for her siblings. At the same time, the earning from selling vegetables has helped to meet the daily household needs and her personal expenses. She stated that she already has earned seven thousand rupees from selling vegetables and informed, "There is good income from vegetable production, and grow vegetables is actually lucrative than doing nothing at home. It has really helped ends meet for my family. At least we now don’t have to worry about finding daily jobs to make a living." 

Reminiscing the past she said, "Whenever we went to ask for some vegetables from our neighbours they would say something or the other and embarrass us, and it was always not possible to buy vegetables from the market. We did not have any knowledge about how to plant the vegetables. But now, we can pick and choose what we want to eat from the garden. I am thinking about continuing this on a larger scale. I have estimated to produce 35 kilos of onions and 50 kilos of garlic this year."

Written by: Sarada Paudel
Amritnagar Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene Project
Sukranagar 2, Chitwan
Project funded by WaterAid in Nepal
March 2012