Kerosene Lamps replaced by Solar Lights in Thumki

Gimdi, otherwise known as Karnali of Lalitpur district is one of the most earthquake affected areas of the country. It lies in the hilly region of Nepal acting as home for Dalit, marginalized and Janajati. 95% of the houses got destroyed completely during the earthquake. Shree Thumki Primary School of Gimdi-6 had its buildings turned into complete ruins forcing the students to read in Temporary Learning Centers. Besides this, students being deprived of electricity and light had been struggling everyday from household as well as academic level.

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Thus to help them, ECCA(Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness) provided all students of Shree Thumki Primary School with solar lights and panels being based on per household. 32 households were provided by ECCA with the support of Grand Circle Foundation. “The solar lights will now replace kerosene lamps as well as minimize health problems of the people residing here. We are thankful to you for helping us”, said Rajan Kumar Basnet, principal of the school.

The solar lights are energy efficient medium of lighting. They are expected not only help students in their study but also their parents in carrying out daily household activities.

Lastly, ECCA thanks Grand Circle Foundation for its generous support. If you also want to contribute to our ongoing attempt of helping school children through use of alternative technologies, visit our GlobalGiving website.

For regular updates regarding our programs and activities, please visit our website, Facebook,  Twitter and YouTube Channel.

From Letters to Light!

 

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Dibya Ghimire during her study hours

“If it weren’t for the solar tuki, I would be struggling with oil lamps to study at night. The efficiency it bears has helped me keep up my grades at school”, says Dibya Ghimire, a grade 8 student of Shree KaliDevi Higher Secondary School, Malta. Earlier ECCA had distributed solar tukis to over 350 students of Shree KaliDevi H.S.S after the dreadful earthquake of April destroyed electrical infrastructures of the village.

Dibya, who is now staying in a temporarily built house recalls the earthquake to be ‘an completely unexpected nightmare’. “95% of the houses in my village either got destroyed completely or damaged to an extent that requires its demolition. This forced all of us to through serious consequences”, shares Dibya. “Even after one month, we were still trying to catch up with our lives that we were living before. What troubled me was the fear of not being able to attend our school anymore because the earthquake took most of the buildings. But it was a very good thing that our school got temporary classrooms built up and it opened again.”

“I have my District Level Examination coming up. So studying late at night using solar tukis has become a routine for me.” Dibya happily adds, “Solar tuki has not only helped students like me but also all of us here. Be it in the kitchen or out in the field, using solar tuki is a lot more fuel-saving and effective.” Along with solar tuki distribution, training on solar tuki maintenance was also given to local people so incase of any problem, people can get their own local technician. This has motivated people of Malta to use this efficient lighting technology.

[Lastly we thank our supporters/donors for helping us support students like Dibya. Do you want take part too? To support our initiative, help us by donating through our GlobalGiving website. ]

Witnessing wonders of solar


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“I weave baskets for livelihood. Solar lights have been helping me to make baskets at nights since four months. This is a huge accomplishment for me and my family.”
Man Bahadur Ghunga, Chaughare

On July 27, 2015 solar lighting systems were distributed in Chaughare VDC of lalitpur district. ECCA, along with two supporting partners Wind Power Nepal Pvt. Ltd. and The Mayor Hotel, had distributed the solar packages where each one comprised of two solar bulbs, one solar panel and a radio system. They were distributed to 16 highly needy households especially with old and disabled people where they give maximum benefit.

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After 4 months on 25th October,2015 we visited five houses in Chaughare and two in Dalchowki to see if the light is really helpful to the beneficiaries or not. One of the houses we visited was of 69 years old Man Bahadur Ghunga in Chaughare. With three children and seven members in his family, weaving baskets is his only occupation to support his family. His house was severely damaged by the April earthquake. Since then he along with his family have been living in temporary shelter made of zinc sheet. Initially there was no electricity and they had to struggle at all times. The solar lighting system distributed by ECCA was a solution for their problems. When asked about how much relief it has provided to them, Ghunga happily answered saying how much of a help it has been for them. He said,”The solar lights help us when there is load shedding. The bulbs give very good light and they are durable. We don’t have the better option than this. It has been one of the essential things to use in our daily life. The best thing is don’t have to wait for the electricity to charge it.” He sincerely thanked ECCA and all the organisations that provided his family such reliable technology.

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Manisha Magar, a recipient of solar lighting system in Dalchowki.

Not only him but every household we visited was very grateful towards us. Regardless of whether they use it in the stable, for housework or for weaving baskets, the solar lights have proved to be a boon for all. Most important thing is that children use it for studying. “I wish for the prosperity of ECCA and I hope it supports us with our needs in the future as well” said Ghunga while giving us farewell. His words made us feel that it was definitely worth to help needy people as him with solar lights during critical time of their lives.

-Denis Janker, Mukesh Karn, Upama Tamla

 © copyright of photos to Denis Janker

Lanterns For Life

The training session with facilitator: Junu Joshi (left)

“My request for a working visa in a foreign country was approved but I chose not to go. I found it hard to leave my family and my homeland despite everything”, said Pradip Lamichanne Magar, a resident of Malta-7, southern Lalitpur. The devastating April earthquake brought down his house but not his optimistic view towards life. With agriculture as his only occupation and now the recent earthquake to count in, he undoubtedly got laden with worries to fulfill the basic needs of his family. Nevertheless,  he has been sending his children to school. His smile resembled hope as he sat down to receive a free training on Solar Lamp maintenance, an income generating attempt made by ECCA for people of rural areas. “This training has undoubtedly aided to my income source. I wish more of these skill generating programs shall be conducted in the future”, said Magar.

Handing over spare parts of Solar Tuki to trainee  Mr.Pradip Lamichanne Magar(left)

One of such other beneficiaries of the training was Rabindra Ale Magar of Malta-9 who, like Pradip, had his house buried in the earthquake and has since been living in a temporary shelter with his family. Being involved only in agriculture, his problems were no less doleful .

Spare parts of Solar Tuki being handed over to trainee Mr.Rabindra Ale Magar (left) by ECCA program officer Mr. Rabindra Khatri

Spare parts of Solar Tuki being handed over to trainee Mr.Rabindra Ale Magar (left)

However, he seemed more than happy as he got around with technical parts and handling techniques of solar lamp. “I even got solar lamps distributed by ECCA at the school today. You can’t imagine how much it means for all the students and their families here.” That day (August 27,  2015 ) ECCA distributed solar lamps and panels to 350 students and teachers of Shree KaliDevi Higher Secondary School, Malta while providing training on solar lamp maintenance simultaneously to a handful of people. “Now we can fix lamps and panels on our own without the trouble of having some technician come over to our village. Thank you very much for providing us the training”, said Pradip. When asked if he would be willing to go abroad if provided an opportunity again, he replied, “Why go abroad when you can find a way in your own motherland? Besides, its struggle everywhere, isn’t it?”

At the end of the session

At the end of the session

(The training, which was given by Junu Joshi, an ECCA staff and expert in solar lamps, included an intensive practical training on basic skills required to fix solar lamps. The trainees were provided with tools required for fixing lamps and panels at the end of the session.)

  • Upama Tamla

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

A Day at Chaughare “Distributing Solar Lighting Systems”

Beautiful place in a nice sunny day.

Beautiful place in a nice sunny day.

27th July 2015, was a clear and sunny day when our team left ECCA-office for an approx two-hours-ride to a small village located in Chaughare VDC, Lalitpur. In the fond of our car, there were Solar Lighting Systems to be distributed to EQ affected families in need. Additionally, we carried various piles of note books for the students in severely damaged school in the same area. I feel it was a short trip, but the activities with a long-term impact.

Gathering of community members to receive solar light.

Gathering of community members gathered to receive solar light.

Some families were already waiting for us when we arrive at the partly destroyed school yard (Shree Gyanodaya Lower Secondary School, Chaughare) to distribute the Solar Lighting System. The system distributed consisted of 2 bright bulbs along with the mobile charging facility and radio inbuild in the system. This reliable and environmentally friendly source of electricity for their homes. will keep the family members safe during the dark hours of night time and support the family members connected with communications and information.

As we had limited system to support the community members, Mr. Tej Lama (Chairman of School Management Committee) supported us through identifying the highly needy family members in the community. Families with old aged members, disabled members, nursing mothers, and school going children were highly prioritized in the distribution.

99 Yrs oldest lady in the community.

99 Yrs oldest lady in the community.

Amongst them, there’s a 99-year-old lady with her great-granddaughter. She still remembers her earthquake experience of 1933 and shared about her experience during that time. The great-granddaughter also shares her joy with other children and gathers together with her friends who all love dancing.

Distributing Solar System to different abilities family.

Distributing Solar System to different abilities family.

In the scenery of the partly destroyed school yard, the Solar systems stand like a symbol of hope and shows that earthquake recovery and ecology can go together hand in hand. And apart from providing electricity for the basic needs of families, there will be still enough solar power for playing music – so the girls can go on dancing!

We would like to thank Mr. Kushal Gurung (CEO) of WindPower Nepal and The Mayor Hotel for supporting the solar system for the families of Earthquake Affected families in Nepal.

A Group Snap with the families.

A Group Snap with the families.

By:

Angel C. – Sr. Program Officer, ECCA

Nina N. – ASA Volunteer, Germany