On a school with 1000 students there was no drinking water available, nor water for cleaning the toilets.
Safe drinking water is the first priority with health care. Without safe drinking water effective health care is not possible. At first we thought that finding solutions to arrange safe drinking water was without our possibilities. But when we noticed that several new schools had no drinking water we helped them when there was a water source in the neighborhood. We arranged a flexible pvc pipe from the source to the school –sometimes several kilometers long- and polyethylene water tanks.
The first big drinking water project was started in the Tibetan refugee camp Tashiling in Pokhara. This camp was situated at the end of a moraine. Most part of the year there was a shortage of drinking water. The river was heavily polluted and was about 60 meter below the camp. There was a small water source halfway the slope, but it belonged to the Nepalese neighbors who did not give permission to the Tibetan refugees to get their drinking water here. The camp with about 500 people asked our help. Every scenario was studied.
It would have been easy to solve the water problem together with the Nepalese neighborhood, but that was not possible. So we thougt that we could drill a well, because in the neighborhood a well was successfully made. Unfortunately three drills did not give water. The reason was that at the end of the moraine there were a lot of stones, caves and sand, very unstable. The drills could not reach layers with water. So we made a makeshift by using an existing connection with the local water supply. To have always water, we installed buffer tanks and the refugees themselves have repaired the existing water supply system and installed sand filters with the result that they have now enough water of a reasonable quality.
A second Tibetan refugee camp in the hearth of Pokhare also faced serious drinking water problems. The first drill was very successful and the water was of a very good quality. They are using the system now several years.
The next big drinking water project took place in Mechchhe Pauwa. This school did have no water, nothing for drinking or for cleaning the toilets. A well halfway the slope at 30 minutes distance could solve this problem. The place belonged to another village, but was not used. And the people of that village belonged to another political party. Although the children of this village went to the same school, there was no agreement possible. Finally the school comity succeeded in registering the well in the schools name.
Pumps were bought, pipes were placed, but the project could not be finished. Meanwhile we had realized a rain water collecting system from part of the roofs of the school with a buffer for 15.000 liters. At first the teachers thought that the children would never drink this water and that it only was good for cleaning the toilets. But they were wrong. So we had to install water filters. The Mao party that was predominant in this village copied our project and finally all the roofs of the school were used to collect rain water in an underground tank o 60.000 liters. But this was also not to cover a whole year.
Due to the earthquake in 2015 many wells that were used by the village of Mechchhe Pauwa fell dry. But not our well. It is giving even two time more water and when developed can be used by school and village. Finally the people formed a comity with all political colors represented. Together they want to find a solution for the village. But nothing happened. And now at the end of 2017 still nothing has happened, now due to the elections. We discussed the problem with the chairman of the school comity, the head teacher and the health post assistant. We agreed that it was best to hand over the project to the school. Until now it has always be seen as a Madat project. After handing everything over it is 100% school business. So we hope that after the elections results will made.
Ceramic waterfilter pots
A potter in the village of Timi, near Bhaktapur, made ceramic waterfilter pots. He used a technique from America. In the filter of the pot the clay is mixed with silver nitrate that 99,9% of all bacteria kills and even some viruses. Using this pot people can filter water, so they can have safe drinking water. In 24 hours they can filter maximum 24 liters of water, but by normal use about 16 liters, what is sufficient for a family. The filter has to be replaced once in two years, the costs are low.
When we discovered these pots we provided 500 water filter pots to the refugees of two Tibetan camps in Pokhara, Tashiling and Champaling. We also provided these pots to poor families in Bhaktapur the families of the muscular dystrophy boys, of the multiple disabled children, and to the old people that visit each day the daycare centre of the old people’s home.
We also gave them to the employees who produce handicraft items for the fair trade shops in Holland and to a beggar project in Boddhnath. We still get positive feedback. It safes gas for cooking water and in the summer the water is very cool.