Festival with a purpose

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It is a group of young minds that is keen on innovating new and meaningful ideas. This year students of Shree Majhgaun Srijansil Pratkiti Bal Club (Shree Majhgaun Creative Nature Club) of Mirge-1, Dolakha celebrated Tihar in their community by advocating about safe drinking water measures that one should adopt inorder to lead a healthy life.

Deusi-bhailo program that the nature club held wasn’t just about entertainment. Along with giving blessings for wealth, happiness and prosperity, the members communicated with the community through songs involving water and sanitation issues. Furthermore, they gifted WATASOLs, a  water purifying liquid that they have been producing themselves after attending training given by ECCA. The team elaborated about its easy use, advantages, low cost and production methods to the people as they travelled from house to house celebrating Deusi-bhailo.

“Because of the earthquake, we feel that it is even more important to keep raising these types of issues as the earthquake has led people to unconsciously degrade their health behaviours. Making people aware about their drinking water and health habits saves them from outbreak of (water-borne) diseases as well”, expressed one of the club members during a feedback meeting.

[To support ECCA’s mission of providing ‘Safe Water For Healthy Nepal’, donate us through our Global Giving website.]

 

Solar lamps and panel distribution in Asrang

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On July 28 2015, with financial support raised through Global Giving, ECCA distributed Solar powered lamps (along with Solar panel) in Bidhadheshwari Higher Secondary School of Asrang in Lalitpur district as part of relief activities for the victims of April earthquake. Each of 400 households received two lamp units and one solar panel. Initially being scheduled the day before, bad road conditions (arising due to landslide) on the way to Asrang delayed the Solar Tuki distribution by one day. Nevertheless, school students and parents came again the next day to receive Solar Tukis for their homes.

ECCA Program Officer handing over solar tuki to a student accompanied by his grandmom

ECCA Program Officer handing over solar tuki to a student accompanied by his grandmom

Group Photo

Group Photo

In Asrang village, Lalitpur, around 97% of the houses got damaged in April’s earthquake and recovery process is taking time. With most of the electrical infrastructures damaged during the earthquake, the residents of Asrang had been facing problems of lighting during night time. Those who had access to kerosene lamps were in no advantage because of probable health hazards.  Educational arena of school children was equally affected. Thus, to improve the living and learning condition of people of Asrang, distribution of solar lamps and panels was prioritized since it has multiple advantages. Solar Tukis provide a stable and environmentally friendly source of lighting to the families in their homes or temporary shelters.

Globalgiving UK representative handing over solar tuki to a student

Globalgiving UK representative handing over solar tuki to a student

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Happy after getting Solar Tuki

“Some children have to walk for 3 hours to get to the school“, says a teacher. The village school Bidhyadhishwari Higher Secondary School, which is located on the top of a hill, was severely damaged during the earthquake and the destroyed classrooms were replaced by temporary learning center (consisting of bamboo-structured huts with space for about 30 children, but cannot provide the same teaching conditions as a solid building). “On top of this challenging surrounding, the students have to work hard to help the family when they return from school in the afternoon” the teacher informs us. That’s why it’s even more important to help the students to improve their living and learning conditions.

“Now we can study anytime we want. Most of the time, we are busy helping our parents with chores. But now, not even darkness can deprive us from studying. From now on, I will study even harder”, said Sandesh Tamang, one of the students.

We would like to thank all our supporters and donors for helping us in post earthquake recovery activities. Without your help and support, we would not have been able to achieve success in helping the earthquake affected people.

-Nina, Prachet, Upama

WASH and Life Skill Camp @ Sankhu, Southern Lalitpur

The Journey to Sankhu – -Upama Tamla (Rai) (ECCA Counsellor)

[WASH and Life Skill Camp was held at Shree Magar Gaun Higher Secondary School, Sankhu, Lalitpur from June 7 to 9, 2015. The experiences of a camp staff …… ]

Sankhu team: From left to right:-Upama Tamla, Shashi Panta, Santosh Dahal, Manjeena Shrestha and Merina Karki

Sankhu team: From left to right:-Upama Tamla, Shashi Panta, Santosh Dahal, Manjeena Shrestha and Merina Karki

Leaving behind all the mess of chaotic Kathmandu, on 6th June, we entered Sankhu, a serene village located at far south of Lalitpur district. The moment we got there, gentle smiles and curious faces welcomed us. Children hovered around with handful of queries that we decided not to answer, just for the sake of surprising them the following day. Since we were to live on the school ground for the next three days, Rajkumar sir, a teacher at the school and also an ECCA counselor did his best for our comfortable accommodation. Even the children helped willingly. Our nearby neighbors were Nepal Army brothers who contributed with other basic requirements we would need during our stay at Sankhu. The evening was a busy one, we set up tents, interacted with several villagers who were extremely helpful and planned for the next day’s session with minds full of excitement.

Taking sessions in the classroom

Taking sessions in the classroom

We were welcomed by a morning full of anticipation on the first day of the camp. To avoid any confusion among the teachers about our sessions, we held a meeting. Thankfully, teachers at Sankhu sounded cooperative enough and with everything planned, we started our first session.

Students with copies distributed by ECCA

Students with copies distributed by ECCA

Distributing refreshments

Distributing refreshments

As the day went by, we discovered many new things. As easy as it felt to understand the sessions during our training period, it was as hard to pass them on to younger students and make them understand the gist of it. Most of the students were disciplined and well-mannered during the session time which boosted our confidence and ability to give our best. In this way, we gradually fulfilled our first day’s mission. We distributed copies, pencils and pens to all the students which they were happy to receive. Balloon blast proved to be the favorite game among little children where as the older ones loved to share their ideas through Future Ladder and other goal setting activities. Students enjoyed the refreshments we provided and all of us grew a step closer with fruitful interactions. When the day ended, we couldn’t believe we had had such a great time and it was only our first day of camp.

Handing over the materials to the Vice-Principal of Shree Magar Gaun Higher Secondary School

Handing over the materials to the Vice-Principal of Shree Magar Gaun Higher Secondary School

The Exhibition

The Exhibition

The next day continued with vigor and enthusiasm. The students continued to show active participation in all the sessions.

Before the final goodbye!

Before the final goodbye!

June 9th was our last day of taking sessions at Sankhu and we were quite sad about it. Nevertheless, we had remaining sessions to take and an exhibition to prepare. It was the day that would show how much we had achieved during the past two days. The first half of the day included several creative activities such as clay works where the students surprised us with their level of imagination. We were equally fascinated by the active participation of senior students’  in both outdoor and indoor activities including sharing their experiences of earthquake. At the end of the day, we held a short program in the afternoon among all the students, parents and teachers where we handed over game materials and a first aid kit (to the school). It was extremely overwhelming to see countless smiling faces that held gratitude and happiness for us being there. As we began wrapping everything up, it reminded us of how close we had gotten with those children over such a short period of time. When several students confidently spoke up on how effective our sessions had been and about the positive impacts they had left on  the students’ minds, we couldn’t help but be proud of ourselves as well as thank our seniors who helped make it possible. Every smiling face told us that we had been successful in fulfilling our objective and we could feel them inviting us again.

EARTHQUAKE RELIEF: UPDATE 5

May 3, 2015

ECCA has continued to provide WATASOL to the communal shelters through volunteers as well as in coordination with other organizations. WATASOL reached Jibanpur in Dhading, Kirtipur, Kuleshwor, Chundevi in Matatirtha, Ramkot and Thimi in Bhaktapur, Luboo, Pulchowk, Bushkharka in Sindhupalchowk, Lamjung, Rasuwa and Dolakha accounting to 66+ liters.

WATASOL was also provided to Kathmandu Medical College (KMC) to ensure safe drinking water to the victims being treated there.

In coordination with RCHP (Rotaract Club of Himalaya Patan), ECCA has started to provide waste disposal bags as well. RCHP volunteers have continued to lend their support in the production of chlorine.

4 sets of Solar Tukis were provided to a group going to Lamjung.

Some clothes collected at the office were handed over for distribution at Sindhupalchowk.

ECCA team together with the HANDS International team

ECCA team together with the HANDS International team from Pakistan

A joint team of ECCA and HANDS International went for an assessment trip to Dalchowki V.D.C. where all the houses have been damaged due to the earthquake. The team distributed Solar Lights together with mobile chargers to the villagers of Ward 6. 17 tents were also distributed in the same area.

Demonstration and distribution of tents at Dalchowki

Demonstration and distribution of tents at Dalchowki

To increase support for our initiation and intensify the relief activites, we have also initiated a project in the website of Global Giving, an online fundraising platform. People all over the world with internet access can visit the project page and donate fund for the initiation. The project page could be visiting the following link : Support Nepal Earthquake Relief

Please help us spread the word around your network and intensify the relief activities.

EARTHQUAKE RELIEF: UPDATE 4

 

WATASOL production continued in the weekend of May 2, 2015 as well. We were able to provide 489 bottles of 60ml and 29 bottles of 1 liter bottles accounting to 58 liters today. WATASOL reached Shankhadevi in Luboo, Shakhu, Dharmasthali, Sindhupalchowk, Teaching Hospital Health camp in Dhading, Jharasi, Kwarki, Bhimdhunga, Bhaktapur, Nakhipot, Kadagari, Matatirtha, Baneshwor and Teku.

WATASOL is tested for quality before distribution and can last up to 6 months when stabilized.

Wata Test kit

WATASOL Quality Test kit

Volunteers from RCHP (Rotaract Club of Himalaya Patan) have continued to lend their support to our cause.

ECCA has initiated #FillTheDrum program which contains daily necessities needed for a family of 5.

A single drum contains:

900+ WATASOL bottles ready for distribution

900+ WATASOL bottles ready for distribution

  • A First Aid Kit
  • Soaps
  • Toilet Paper
  • Tooth paste and 5 toothbrushes
  • Mat
  • 5 Face masks
  • Energy Bars/Chocolates
  • Needle and thread
  • Gloves
  • Towel
  • Match Stick
  • Torch Light
  • Daal/ Lentals
  • 2-3 kg of Rice
  • 1 Bucket
  • 1 Mug
  • Chiura/ Beaten Rice
  • Sanitary Pad
  • Oral Rehydration Salt/ Jeevan Jal
  • WATASOL

To increase support for our initiation and intensify the relief activites, we have also initiated a project in the website of Global Giving, an online fundraising platform. People all over the world with internet access can visit the project page and donate fund for the initiation. The project page could be visiting the following link : Support Nepal Earthquake Relief

Please help us spreading the word around your network and intensify the relief activities

EARTHQUAKE DISASTER RELIEF: UPDATE 3

May 1st proceeded with the production and distribution of WATASOL. The distribution teams are also conducting orientation programs for the users. WATASOL was able to reach the communal shelters at Kavre, Gwarko, Pulchowk, Bhaktapur, Patan, Thapathali, Sindhuli, Dhapakhel, Tangal, Dharsmathali, Ramkot, Harisiddhi, Kirtipur, Nuwakot, Battisputali, Panga, Imadol, Balkot, Barabise, Makhantole, Chyasal, Baneshwor, Kavrepalanchowk, Natole, Sinamangaal, Sanagaun, Sanepa, Jawalakel and Sundhara accounting to 120+ liters. Volunteers from RCHP (Rotaract Club of Himalaya Patan) have continued to lend their support in bottling of chlorine solution

In order to prevent from waterborne diseases, water filters embedded with tulip filter candles were assembled in ECCA office. 30 water filters were sent to Chokati VDC, Sindhupalchowk in coordination with Himalayan Crossroads. The water filters treated with silver colloidal solution can filter murky water to remove impurities.

ECCA water filter with silver colloidal

ECCA water filter with silver colloidal

Relief materials arrived today at the Head Office of ECCA from HANDS International (Health And Nutrition Development Society), Pakistan.  General Manager of Disaster Management and Social Mobilization Programs, Mr. Muhammad Raheem Marri and Dr. Mohammad Sarwat Mirza arrived at the International Airport yesterday afternoon.

Handing over the relief materials to ECCA

Handing over the relief materials to ECCA

HANDS was founded by Prof.A.G.Billoo (Sitara-e-Imtiaz) in 1979. HANDS has evolved in 34 years as one of the largest Non-Profit Organization of Pakistan with an integrated development model.

The emergency operations will be carried out with the support of ECCA from the platform of HANDS International.

The relief materials include:

A box of  medical supplies  from HANDS International

A box of medical supplies from HANDS International

  • 90 solar chargeable lights,
  • Jackets,
  • Medicines:
    • Antibiotic injections,
    • Painkiller injections,
    • Syringe,
    • First Aid materials (Cotton, Bandages),
    • Stitching Needles

 

 

By: Palistha Shrestha (ECCA Volunteer)

Earthquake Disaster Relief: UPDATE 2

Reports of spread of various infectious diseases have already surfaced in many parts of Kathmandu valley including Kalanki, Chapagaun, Lele, Chunikhel, Ombahal and Bafal.

Hence, ECCA has proceeded with its production of WATASOL to fulfill the increasing demand. WATASOL can also be used for disinfecting wounds and cleaning purposes around the communal shelters along with disinfecting water.

Giving brief instructions on the use of WATASOL

Giving brief instructions on the use of WATASOL

Volunteers from ECCA as well as from Rotaract Club of Himalaya Patan (RCHP) continued their efforts to provide WATASOL to the victims of the earthquake. Volunteers were able to reach Chyasal, Gwarko, Dhapakhel, Pulchowk, Lagankhel,Masini Gaun, Chandragiri, Nagbahal, Ramechap, Chisapani, Ombahal, Chunikhel, Lagantole, Chapagaun, Nagarkot, Gabahal and Manmaiju today. WATASOL was supplied for use at the Patan Hospital as well.

In coordination with ICIMOD, ECCA is distributing 100 liters of WATASOL around the areas of Gorkha, Kavre, Bungmati and Godavari.

WATASOL was supplied to Barabise, Sindhupalchowk by ECEC (Early Childhood Education Centre)

A total of more than 168 liters of WATASOL were distributed today.

300+ 60ml bottles ready for distribution

300+ 60ml bottles ready for distribution

ECCA has joined partnership with American Conservation Experience (ACE) to work towards providing support to the Nepal Earthquake victims.

To increase support for our initiation and intensify the relief activites, we have also initiated a project in the website of Global Giving, an online fundraising platform. People all over the world with internet access can visit the project page and donate fund for the initiation. The project page could be visiting the following link : Earthquake Relief: Providing Safe  Drinking Water 

Please help us spreading the word around your network and intensify the relief activities.

By: Palistha Shrestha (ECCA-Volunteer)

EQ Disaster Relief (Update…)

The 2nd day of earthquake relief effort started with the distribution of WATASOL (Chlorine solution). WATASOL production rate was increased by using all the available WATA devices. Active volunteers continued in the aid efforts to make WATASOL available to the victims.

Ms. Junu (ECCA Staff) in action towards producing chlorine.

Ms. Junu (ECCA Staff) in action towards producing chlorine.

The ECCA volunteers along with members of Rotaract Club of Himalay Patan (RCHP) supported on bottling and distributing the chlorine solution today as well.

As more volunteers showed up, we were able to increase our areas of distribution to include Kalanki, Dhapakhel, Sanagaun, Naykhuchowk, Sankhu, and various other remote places across southern Lalitpur. ECCA is distributing WATASOL in bottles with the capacity of 60ml and 1 liter.

RCHP Volunteer Orienting about the use of Chlorine.

RCHP Volunteer Orienting about the use of Chlorine.

WATASOL was provided to the locality around Imadol, Bungmati and Khokana by several people who came to collect it individually.

Starting from yesterday, we have distributed a total of 102 liters of WATASOL that can purify 408,000 liters of water (1 liter of chlorine can purify 4,000 liters of water).

Thanks to Sunrise Homes Welfare Society, Balkumari, Lalitpur for agreeing to provide 100 liters of treated water per day, which will be used to produce WATASOL.

Water storage bags PackH2O was also distributed free of cost at Dhapakhel and southern Lalitpur.

To increase support for our initiation and intensify the relief activities, we have also initiated fund raising platform  in the Global Giving website : Earthquake Relief: Providing Safe  Drinking Water. People all over the world with internet access can visit the project page and donate fund for the initiation.

Please help us to spread the word around your network and intensify the relief activities.

Additionally, 50 tents were provided in Badaal Gaun, Kavre and coordination is being done with ICIMOD and other international / national agencies.

By: Palistha Shrestha (ECCA Volunteer)

A Prevention Measures for Disaster – Flood Early Warning System

For a mountainous country like Nepal, natural disasters related with landslide and floods are inevitable in any time period of the year. Hence, in order to prevent human catastrophe from various types of disaster, adoption of preventive measures is a must. This could be done through various types of social awareness activities to sensitize people and through installing hardware that will inform about the disaster that is about to happen.

Briefing participants on Flood Early Warning System.

Recently, ECCA in collaboration with other partner organization (SEE, Li-Bird/MSFP) installed a wireless flood early warning system for the first time in Nepal. This is a low-cost and user friendly technology installed in Kaligandaki River located in Bhurung, Myagdi District in western region of Nepal. With the installation of the technology, training programs were organized from 9th to 19th December for relevant stakeholders and school students located in the periphery of the system installed.

Briefing participants on Flood Early Warning System.

The main aim of this training was to provide basic knowledge about causes & consequences of flood, advantages of ESW and to develop strong communication among the participation. During the training program, participants were shared about basic of Disaster Risk Reduction terminologies, Early Warning System components, equipment to be installed and EWS mechanism. Practical sessions with briefing about equipment (transmitter unit and receiver unit), methodology to install, assemble and disassemble system together with precaution measures in days to come were also share with the participants.

Training Children on FEWS.

Training Children on FEWS.

20 students from four different schools located in the periphery of the river were also trained about the system and its functioning. ECCA staffs facilitated the training through giving them presentation about the EWS, nature club formation & school environment. All students were exited by knowing about the EWS. The group discussion, paper presentation & different interaction program was done among the students. Students from each school also made the wall magazine & art competition was also done among the participants during the training program.

Explaining about the signal transmitting linkage of FEWS to participants.

Explaining about the signal transmitting linkage of FEWS to participants.

The students were exited to learn about the EWS as it was a first training of its kind that they had received in their school. They agreed that the flood early warning system is really an important technology for the community to save from disaster like flood.

Installation of Wireless Community Based Early Warning System at Bhurung-Tatopani of Myagdi District

Flood Early Warning System

Flood Early Warning System

It’s a great pleasure of mine to share this news that SI/MSFP-LI-BIRD successfully installed Wireless Community Based Early Warning System at Bhurung-Tatopani of Myagdi District on 11th December 2014.

This technology has been installed for first time in Nepal through LI-BIRD in technical partnership with ECCA (Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness) and SEE (Sustainable Eco Engineering); the same technology which had recently received UNFCC’s Lighthouse Award 2014 for its work on Community Based Early Warning System in the Eastern Brahmhaputra River Basin, India.

Before installation of the system, 3 days technical training was given among the community people. During training, participants learned basic DRR terminologies, EWS components, equipment to be installed and EWS mechanism. Round table discussion, group work and video demonstration regarding communities managing early warning system in Eastern Nepal was also included in the theoretical session of the training. After theoretical session, practical session started where participants learned about equipment (transmitter unit and receiver unit), methodology to install,  assemble and disassemble system together with precaution measures in days to come.  Entire training was facilitated by ECCA, SEE and SI/LI-BIRD.

Handing Over Hardware of Flood Early Warning System to the community Representatives

Handing Over Hardware of Flood Early Warning System to the community Representatives

While nearing to the end of the session, communication channel was developed in active participation of community people. Once communication channel was developed, community people were mobilized to site for installation. Installation was followed by field monitoring. Chief District Officer (CDO) , Local Development Officer (LDO), District Forest Officer (DFO), Army Chief, National Level Journalist participated in site observation. On last moment of hand-over ceremony, this technology was handed over to head of Project Support Committee (PSC) by Chief District Officer Mr. Tek Bahadur KC. Furthermore, Mr. KC accepted the communication channel developed by community people during training session.

Working Mechanism of Wireless Early Warning System: This technology has two units i) Transmitter and ii) Receiver. Transmitter Unit consists of water level sensor, Radio Transmitter, Solar Panel and Antennae. Likewise, Receiver Unit is composed of Radio Receiver, Battery, Charge Controller, Siren, Solar Panel and Antennae. Transmitter unit is installed in river bank while receiver unit is installed in a house of the community with distance not more than 500 meter from transmitter installed along the river. The sensor of transmitter is used to produce alarm to community according to the flood level of river. Radio Receiver receives signal in the form of LED light and siren. Thus siren produces different tone in different water level.

First stage siren: interrupted siren ring as pre-early warning

Second stage siren: The time between pre-alarm and full-alarm. This stage can provide reaching time of flood. In other word, it can be called as evacuation time or lag time.

Third stage siren: Full siren with large volume. Once community receive this warning, they need to evacuate to safe shelter/evacuation center.

Testing Flood Early Warning System

Testing Flood Early Warning System

Conclusion: As this is low-cost and user friendly technology installed for the first time in Nepal, community people together government stakeholders including CDO, LDO, DFO, Nepal Army, Nepal Police have well appreciated the system. Furthermore, they have praised the work done by SI-LIBIRD in close coordination and collaboration with ECCA and SEE. However, the major challenge now is to sustain this system in long run. For this government has to own the system and community people have to bring local government into the realization incorporating it into the local development plan further incorporating it into district and national level plan; incorporation of EWS in local DRR planning process will result into the reduction of vulnerability and increased resilience of community. Moreover, the introduction of this Wireless Flood Early Warning System will provide good instance for climate change adaptation technology with further replication various vulnerable localities of our country especially in the flash flood affected areas and in the inner terai belt.

Surendra Gautam

Special Initiatives Coordinator (SIC)-MSFP LOT IV