Building Ownership value through Painting!

One of the cold mornings of January when we would often be sleeping in our warm cozy bed, we packed our bags and headed to Jhule. The colder climate that was about to welcome us had us little anxious but then, we were more excited about the new work we were about to do.

After the devastating earthquake of 2015, four affected community schools of Jhule are being supported to rebuild school toilets (including girl friendly toilets) as well as drinking water and hand washing stations. With hastened and immediate use, these infrastructures could lack proper, safe and sustainable use.  To bring about conciousness and behaviourial attitude regarding sustainable use of supported WASH facilities, we volunteered to organize ‘WASH Corner and Toilet Painting’ program.

Our two teams of counselors scanned two separate schools and started off the painting. Soon, we were surrounded by school students.

“Would you help us?”, we first asked students hovering around us.  With gentle nods, interested kids lined up to receive brushes, paints and instructions. The idea was to guide and let them paint.

After allocating painting tasks, our work sped up. Gradually as the day went by, we painted meaningful messages that helped us deliver sustainable use practices along with a number of WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) related alerts. As much as we were excited to continue our painting even in the evening, the cold wind held a difficulty and we completed our paintings in our first school on the third day.

For rest of the three days, we collaborated our teams mobilized in remaining schools. In all the schools, students were excited and we offered them painting tasks and advices for sustainable use simultaneously.  The result was truly satisfying!

“We don’t think any student would want to make these walls dirty”, said a participating student with a laugh.

“Besides decoration, these paintings have given a value. Thank you so much”, teachers shared.

We are glad our hard work was able to influence schools for better use of constructed facilities.

  • Upama Tamla (Rai)

Women lead Safe Drinking Water practice in Chyasal

Nepal is regarded as one of the richest countries in water resources but people have problem of water scarcity. Department of Water Supply and Sewerage  estimates 80% of the total population to have access to drinking water, however it’s safety cannot be guaranteed. People of larger cities like Kathmandu valley are even more devoid of access to adequate and safe drinking water due to its growing population. Especially women, who are mostly assigned to look after household chores, struggle to collect and manage water storage for their families.

To minimize the hardship, Hamro Sankalpa Mahila Samuha, a women group of Chyasal, Lalitpur came forward last year. They installed water tank  and adopted water purification technique in their community with ECCA’s support. Ms. Kanchi, one of the members of the group took the initiation and started to distribute WATASOL (chlorine solution used for water disinfection) treated water in her community soon after the earthquake.

“Everyone dreaded the outbreak of water borne diseases. We feel that we have taken action to prevent it”, says Byanjankar.  Currently the supply is enough for around 90 households in the locality.

IMG_0014.JPG

image011This initiation has not only helped to provide adequate and safe drinking water to the community but also in women empowerment and entrepreneurship by bringing them together to solve a common problem.

-Shailena Sthapit, Upama Tamla (Rai)

Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness (ECCA) has been working in the field of safe drinking water in various regions of Nepal since the year 2000. Support ECCA’ in its mission to provide safe drinking water directly or through our GlobalGiving website!

Uplifting Nature Clubs through Management Trainings

Southern Lalitpur is one of the core regions where ECCA Nepal has been working for past 2 decades to enhance quality education and school environment. The program comprises of involving students that make them participate and motivate into activities where the students can learn as well as contribute towards improvement of school. Various software program, nature club establishments and trainings, and other support are the activities of ECCA to promote students in quality education and behavioral change.

As such of a regular program, a two days training program was organized for nature club members from Feb 1- Feb 13, 2016. The program, which was supported by Wilkins Memorial Trust, welcomed 25 participants from each nature clubs of 9 different schools. The prime objective of this program was to develop different life skills and responsibility handling skills  among nature club members for conducting effective and sustainable programs. Participants were from:

  1. Shree Bag Bhairab Higher Secondary School -Kaleshwor
  2. Shree Magar Gaun Higher Secondary School -Sankhu
  3. Shree Goth Bhanjyang H.S.S-Dalchoki
  4. Shree Bag Bhairab Secondary School-Chaughare
  5. Shree Gyanodaya L.S.S-Chaughare
  6. Shree Kalidevi H.S.S-Malta
  7. Shree Bhidyadeshori H.S.S-Asrang
  8. Shree Janajagriti H.S.S- Ikudol
  9. Shree Mahakalidevi H.S.S-Bhattedanda
IMG_8299

ECCA counselor Ms. Malati Khatri during Life Skill session

To conduct the two days training camp in each school, the group was divided into two teams who mobilized around the targeted schools. The training camp content comprised of strengthening of nature club, promotion of nature club activities, importance of greenery management and herbal garden, life skill activities, WASH session and activities, GLOBE activities (atmosphere observation and data collection) and alternative energy usage sessions like IAS (Improved Animal Shed), ICS (Improved Cooking Stove).

IMG_8303

ECCA counselor Mr. Shambhu Maharjan(with glasses) conducts ‘Trust Fall’; a life skill activity

“The training helped to erase our confusions regarding club management and organizing effective and needed programs. I am now more capable of handling my responsibility as the secretary of my club”, said one of the participants.

 

IMG_8425

Nature Club members prepare their annual plan during the training

IMG_8504

Students proceed to cloud reading after the orientation, Shree Goth Bhanjyang H.S.S. , Dalchoki

During the training, students were able to make their annual plan for nature club and also get ideas for selecting types of programs. This will now help them to enhance their club activities and promote their role in well managed and sustainable school improvement. Students were especially interested in knowing more activities involving GLOBE protocol

IMG_8743

ECCA counselors with the trainees, Shree Bag Bhairav Secondary School, Chaughare 

ECCA can conduct further more programs with specialization on hygiene and green environment, as there are still not enough sanitary facilities and green environment on school.

-Malati Khatri, ECCA Counselor

Nature Clubs collaborate for Door To Door WATASOL Programme in Nepal

How do you confirm that the water you are drinking is safe? What measures do you use to make it germ-free?

“We discovered that chlorinating water could be an easy and effective method to disinfect water. As responsible youths, we felt it was important to make people of our community aware about it”, shared Roshan Dhakal member of Tapeswor Nature Club of Shree Tapeswor Higher Secondary School. Ever since ECCA (Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness) provided training on WATASOL/chlorine solution and also provided WATA devices( with action medeor e.V.‘s support) for its production, the club has been trying to make efforts for creating awareness programmes like this.

IMG_7279 copy

ECCA counselor Aruna Puri advises nature club members on how to approach members of community

Along with Tapeswor Nature Club, nature club of neighbouring school Shree Brahamayani Secondary School also had taken part in the training. Foreseeing a common objective both the nature clubs had therefore collaboratively conducted door to door program on January 25, 2016 where they shared the role of WATASOL in making drinking water safe.  There were 50 participants, 25 from each club in the programme.

IMG_4574 copy

Nature clubs talk with an elderly man about WATASOL

“The earthquake had made the issue of drinking water even more vulnerable few months ago. We all need to be more conscious all the time about the quality of water that we drink. WATASOL being an effective and affordable water disinfectant technique can be used by everyone. Thank you ECCA for introducing it to us”, said Dhakal after the door to door programme. According to him, the people of community showed sheer interest in WATASOL and positively responded to their approach.

[ECCA thanks all donors/supporters for their help in ECCA’s mission of providing ‘Safe Water For Healthy Nepal’. Help ECCA’s initiation by contributing through our Global Giving website.]

-Upama Tamla Rai, ECCA

ECCA builds School Toilets in Rural Nepal

mk

Ongoing Construction of Boys’ Toilet

Catastrophes never choose to be kind. One physical injury or one infrastructural damage can leave hundreds impaired. Students of Bagbhairav Secondary School, Chaughare met similar fate this year. From classrooms to toilets, the earthquake of April caused great deal of destruction depriving young students from a proper learning area as well as healthy environment.

It is one of the main reasons why ECCA has prioritized the construction of toilets in this school. Absence of toilet with proper water facilities had been posing as a serious threat to health of children. This threat is expected to be minimized with construction of proper toilets categorized suitably both for male and female students.

“Construction of boys toilet is already in its final phase. Construction of girl-friendly toilet with incinerator is also going to start soon”, said Ram Sharan Magar, an ECCA field staff. “This is going to have a very good impact in the community. Female students are going to be encouraged to attend school as girl-friendly toilets are meant to be for their support especially during menstruation.”

ECCA has already constructed girl-friendly toilets in several other schools in rural Nepal. It has helped to improve female attendance number to a great extent. To support our initiative, help us by donating through our Global Giving website.

-Upama Tamla (Rai), ECCA

From a Mother’s Eyes

A fine December afternoon in Durbar Square and I was barely thinking of anything except enjoying the sun. Out of nowhere, a child dressed in traditional nepali attire gunyo-cholo appeared. Her young age and physical features were a deception otherwise the way she presented herself would make anyone think of her as a much matured woman. I was flabbergasted by her flawless act which started gathering attention of people around. I followed her and a bunch of similarly costumed children appeared on the platform.They all talked about issues related to water and health. Some were laden by water-borne diseases, some trying to seek out the solutions. As the act got exciting by each minute, something stroke my mind. I m.jpgbegan thinking of simple issues that I gave myself no time to think before. Questions
brainstormed- “The glass of water I drank at the canteen hurriedly this morning, was it safe enough to drink?”  “Have I been providing my children with pure and germfree water?” “Am I good parent?” “What are the safety determining factors of drinking water?”

I saw the drama team struggle with water-related problems and I realized I knew a solution or two! The children explored a safer world offered by hygienic behaviours and clean water and I realized that safe drinking water being a global issue cannot be veiled by ignorance anymore. Day to day caution is a must to build up progressive health behaviours in oneself. I learnt that simple actions like regular use of WATASOL could contribute to a healthier living.


I snapped out of my thoughts as I heard the crowd clapping. The drama had end. I felt what just happened in front of me was more than just a drama by a bunch of children. It was an act of reminder by conscious members of society trying to guide people like me to a healthier world. Finally I returned home that night with a handful of WATASOLs. I planned on having a talk with my children about drinking water precautions tonight and I knew it would be interesting to introduce them to this disinfectant technique of chlorination/WATASOL!

-Upama Tamla(Rai), ECCA

[With reference to a safe drinking water themed drama performed by Bal Binod Nature Club of Na:tole, Lalitpur in MangalBazaar, Patan, Nepal on December 9, 2015. To support ECCA’s mission of providing ‘Safe Water For Healthy Nepal’ donate us through our Global Giving website.]