Radhika Adhikari, 38, lives in Itahari, Nepal, with her husband, three children and mother-in-law. Using loans from the Sangini Savings and Credit Cooperative, an initiative supported by the HSBC Water Programme, Radhika has built up her own business.
Radhika lives in in the city of Irahari in Nepal, with her husband, three children and mother-in-law. Radhika’s life has been transformed by initiatives supported by the HSBC Water Programme.
As part of the Itahari Integrated Water and Sanitation (WASH) Improvement Project, Radhika’s community gained access to clean water and materials to construct toilets. Radhika was appointed by her community to be the treasurer of the local WASH committee, who manage the new services.
“Before constructing this toilet, I had a pit latrine in my home which was not comfortable at all. It used to stink, and it was not secure. It was not covered properly so I always used to fear snake bites while I was using the toilet.”
She first joined the Sangini Women's Saving and Credit Cooperative, another initiative supported by the HSBC Water Programme, so she could take a loan to buy a buffalo. The Sangini Saving and Credit Cooperative is a local women-led microfinance group, and as well as providing loans the group have improved the financial skills of women in the community. Women have learnt about the importance of saving and managing money, along with key hygiene education.
“I took loan from Sangini Women Saving and Credit Cooperative to buy a buffalo. Since I had some free time in my daily routine, I thought the buffalo milk produced could be sold in the market.”
After paying off the first loan, Radhika took another loan out to buy a cow, and she now sells around 11 litres of milk in her local market every day. With this extra income, the family have been able to pay their children's school fees, and have refurbished their house. Radhika's dream is to save enough to open her own restaurant in the area.
“Access to clean water and toilets changed my life in a very good way. Life is comfortable, and at night, I do not have a fear of snakes or any other insects or animals. The major thing is we have saved a lot of our time which can now be used to focus on our work and generate more income. Being economically independent makes me feel good. I don’t have to depend on others - this is such a good feeling that I cannot explain in words.”
Over the past five years, WaterAid and HSBC have worked together to transform lives in six countries: Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Ghana and Nigeria. Together, we have reached 1.65 million people with clean water and 2.5 million people with sanitation and hygiene. The work funded by HSBC Water Programme allows communities to build skills, increase their productivity and future-proof economies of the regions they live in. Find out more about WaterAid’s work in partnership with HSBC.