Earth Bag Retaining Wall in Binayak Bal School

11 m high slope in the school premise of Binayak Bal Lower Secondary School, Badal Gaun, Kavre was a huge risk for landslide along with being a reason for frequent accidents. Especially during monsoon season, the risk of landslide used to maximize threatening the safety of students. But that is about to change. If a preventive measure can be adopted why not take an action for it? The risky geographical landmark is now being changed into a product of bioengineering that is both quick, reliable and offers a bigger range of safety for students. The wall construction is being constructed by ECCA(Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness) with the support of GNHA e.V. (German Nepalese Help Association).

 

Instead of using concrete cements, bricks and regular construction materials, earth bags are made with fillings of available inorganic materials basically soil and then sealed with Aluminium or plastic thread. After developing a foundation with a layering of aggregates, the earth bags are laid consequently in a pattern similar to bricklaying. All the bags are compacted well. To provide frictional stability for layers of earth bags, use of Galvanized Iron barbed wires, buttresses and steel reinforcements is made at measured length interval. So overall the wall is a systematized stack of soil filled sacks with good stability.

The wall construction began on since Jan 4, 2016 and is already in 90% completion phase. “Not only is this kind of wall cost-effective and easy to built, it provides impressive retaining power”, said Raja Babu Dangol, engineer from ECCA while monitoring the construction site.

The wall along with assuring safety will act as a eco-friendly region in Binayak Bal Lower Secondary School. Possible forms of plantation(from bioengineering view) will be done in between each column of earth bags that will provide usefulness as well as more solidity for the wall.

-Upama Tamla Rai, ECCA

ECCA conducts a Documentary Show For Pupils

How do you learn?
For children, fun and knowledge should blend together.  For them, the best ways are through games, stories, art or songs that portray an access to an unlimited series of entertainment and learning.

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Learning for life!

On 4th December, 2015 over 170 students of Binayak Bal Lower Secondary School of  Badal Gaun, Kavre rejoiced learning through watching documentaries.

The documentary show which depicted adoptive measures for probable disaster risks in the simplest manner was advantageous for students. Along with this, students enjoyed documentaries along with animations involving basic health related issues such as safe drinking water and hygiene facts.

“It had been long since we had this much fun in school. Thank you ECCA for today”, said Sushil, one of the participants at the end of the day.

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Program Administrator Mr.Aashish Karn(center) along with the students

Education And Attitude

Following is a review of a school drama performed by Shree Bag Bharaib Nature Club, Chaughare on November 25, 2015 during school visit by ECCA director Angel Chitrakar along with the treasurer from WMT  Mr. David.

IMG_5158Hari, who lives in Jeri Gaun gets ill out of a sudden. He is not rushed to a hospital but offered the aid of a Jhakri. All the mantras that the Jhakri chants and animal sacrifices he makes to shoo away the evil goes in vain. It is only that his health improves when he gets treated by a medical doctor.  The reason for his sickness doesn’t turn out to be evil souls but unhygienic behaviours chiefly open defecation.

The drama which showcased sensitive issues of community such as hygiene and sanitation was commendable. From health issues to existing beliefs in superstitions, the characters successfully portrayed ignorant personalities of the society and those who try to make a change. By creating a contrast between two villages, essence of subjects such as plantation was also revealed to the public and the conclusion was an inspiring one- to spread awareness and bring actual change in attitude.

IMG_5170.jpgAnyone in the audience would undoubtedly get a feeling that it is important that more of the youths come forward to be the Change makers. If everyone would go hand in hand for making such positive changes in the society, life will get better and development won’t be far.

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

381 water filters for Kaleshwor!

Kaleshwor VDC in Southern Lalitpur is heavily affected by the earthquakes of April and May as well as by the subsequent after-shocks. Houses are destroyed and people still live outside in tents and temporary shelters without any proper water purification techniques. Many inhabitants of the area are suffering from problems related to poor water quality. There’s a lack of filtration systems, desinfection and proper maintenance of existing water purification facilities.

awaring student on use of WATASOL

Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness (ECCA), along with various national and international organizations, started relief work for the earthquake survivors. Supported by Grand Circle Foundation, 381 set of water filter (purify the water from bacteria, parasites and turbidity, remove bacteria 99.995%, turbidity 99% protozoa 99%) were distributed to the students and villagers of Shree Bagh Bhairab Higher Secondary School-7, Kaleshwor on 28th August 2015. The distributed filter systems can clean up to 10 lt at once. This means children and villagers don’t have to fear different water borne disease every day anymore.

students with water filters

Filter distribution done by ECCA brought smiles on children and villagers’ faces. “Many of us had never used filter before. We were unaware about the problem of unsafe drinking water in our community. Thank you ECCA and team for providing us with filters”, said Subash, president of Bhag Bhairab Nature Club of Shree Bhag Bhairab School. Subash is now actively involved in the local Nature Club for improving the school environment regarding better water, sanitation and hygiene. He also asked ECCA to provide Chlorination training. “I feel safe with ECCA”, added Subash.

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Written by Rabindra & Sadiksha

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

Monsoon & Shelter / TENTS & FILTERS

40 Km away from Kathmandu in eastern side and 13 km away from the district headquarter of Kavre district, people were forced to stay in houses with cracks and along side of debris of their house. Phapar chaur of Kushadevi VDC with approx 60 household were still staying out of their home and were facing different problems due to the earthquake. We managed adequate numbers of tents and filters to distribute in the community on 15th & 16th July 2015.

Setting up tent in school.

Setting up tent in school.

We have tried to compile what we accomplish in a short video presentation. Please enjoy.

If the link doesn’t function properly please follow this link to view the video.

We would like to extend our gratitude towards American Conservation Experience (ACE) for supporting tents to ECCA, enabling us to distribute to the needy families survived after earthquake. A glimpses of other Tent distribution and setup could be viewed in our Tent Distribution Facebook Album (which is continuously updated through adding more pictures). Similarly, Grand Circle Foundation for supporting us for distribution of water filters to the needy communities.

Ensured safe water for the new generation.

Ensured safe water for the new generation.

Thanks to all our counselors and volunteers for their untiring effort towards identifying the families in need through visiting rural areas and helping them to install the tents and filters in their houses.

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

Dolakha Diary – An Experience organizing camp in School

Dolkha Dairy

Dolkha Dairy

“Namaste miss. Namaste sir. Welcome to our school.” When there are blissful tiny voices greeting you along with their tiny hands heavy with garlands that clearly define affection, plus those warm smiles loaded with innocence, you’re bound to forget all your fatigue and consider yourself blessed to be among those people with big hearts. Likewise, the moment we got an affectionate welcome at Kalidevi Lower secondary School of Mirge, Dolakha on June we felt that the challenges we faced on our way, which included of a massive rainfall plus a life-threatening landslide were all worth it.

But the next moment when we let our eyes wander, we saw true horrors of earthquake. The earthquake had left them nothing but a tiny building. All other school infrastructures were in rubbles. Although some temporary structures had been set up for running the classes, most of the students had no materials for study. Many students had their uniform and books buried during the earthquake. Desks and benches were made locally yet they were still not enough for students. We further discovered that the health status of all the children was in a risky situation. All the students and even teachers used tap water from the toilet directly for drinking. Moreover, the nature club of the school was already functionless long ago so there was no chlorine production and no use of chlorine as well. Hence, our foremost objective lied in reactivating the nature club and making all students informative regarding sanitation and healthy habits besides making efforts to take them out of the earthquake trauma.

Fun with Mask

Fun with Mask

We thus started our sessions as scheduled, with numerous games and activities. The children were surprisingly shy and there were few who volunteered for anything we asked. As we started our drawing and coloring sessions in pre-primary classrooms, they were happy beyond anything. Even the teachers told us that they themselves rarely taught children that way. On the other hand, older students seemed fascinated by things that could be learned through art and games.

Students enjoying with mask and characters.

Students enjoying with mask and characters.

On our second morning, we witnessed yet another suffering of the school. Previous night’s rainfall had pooled the school ground and half of the temporary classrooms were flooded with water. Students were busy ploughing around the ground for a water outlet and we got worried about our sessions. Despite everything, we were determined to place the students at ease and try sharing our earthquake experiences together so that they could free themselves from the subconscious trauma.

“During the earthquake of April 25, 2015 I was in maize field working with my mom. When the quake hit us, my mom started screaming and all houses around us started collapsing. That night all of us villagers slept in the maize field of our neighbors and ate whatever we had. Our home got destroyed and we’re now living in temporary shelter. I don’t think it’s ever going to be same again…” As Pabitra spoke these words, the whole class was silent. One by one, every student began to speak up and involuntarily there established a bond among us that reminded us of our common misery and then the strength that we could find among ourselves to overcome it.

On our third and last day, we reformed a nature club in the school. After teaching and demonstrating them things about WATASOL, its method of production and usage, they grew confident about producing and distributing it in the village for safe drinking water.

Students displaying about need of safe drinking water and chlorination as an option.

Students displaying about need of safe drinking water and chlorination as an option.

Meanwhile students from lower section enjoyed learning proper hand washing techniques and other creative activities.

On the second half of the day, the school held a short farewell programme during which we distributed copies and other stationery materials to the students and eventually handed over whiteboards, markers, game materials and a first-aid kit to the school. An exhibition was held at the same time which exhibited our students’ works. Parents observed and thanked us for helping their children. And when the teachers enthusiastically said that they were motivated by our work, we couldn’t help smiling. We were humbled moreby warm farewell given by the children. The moment was indeed very overwhelming because when those blissful tiny voices bade us farewell along with their tiny hands and hugs that clearly defined affection,we forgot the world for a moment and considered ourselves blessed to be among all those people with big hearts.
Thank you ECCA!

Students thanking our team after training program.

Students thanking our team after training program.

With students before departure.

With students before departure.

[The experiences are based on a week long Life Skill Camp mission held at Kali Devi Lower Secondary School, Paile Mirge, Dolkha by Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness from June 23 to June 25, 2015]

by – Upama Tamla

EQ Relief: Filter Distribution

There is no disagreement that Water could be a simplest and easiest medium to get infected or transmission of various viral diseases in the current situation of natural disaster. Hence, use of safe water for various purposes in our day to day life needs to be carefully monitored and precautions need to be taken. Scarcity of water at various locations is seen due to disturbance in water distribution system. Hence, distribution of water various POU Water treatment option like water filter and WATASOL (chlorine solution) has been intensified from ECCA.

Locally Assembled ECCA Filter.

Locally Assembled ECCA Filter.

Till today, in coordination and financial support from various organizations like Nepalese Disaster Relief Association (NDRA) Dallas, Himalayan Crossroads, Nepal Child Club Network and local youth groups, 100 sets of water filters were distributed in various locations of Lalitpur, Kavre, Bhaktapur, Sindhupalchok & Nuwakot.

An orphanage located in Jharuwarashi, Lalitpur, sheltering 62 children were provided 10 sets of filter along with 10 pc of water jar for storing and carrying water. Due to the earthquake, the water storage tank got tampered and water well dried, threatening continuous supply of water of the daily use of children. Through the use of filtered water for drinking purpose, the children are now ensured to have safe water as well as far reach of water borne diseases.

Filters provided to EQ affected families of Nuwakot.

Filters provided to EQ affected families of Nuwakot.

Similarly, 10 sets of filter were distributed to the residents of Nuwakot where families were forced to live in communal shelters due to damage in their houses. In coordination with NCCN, 3 filters were distributed in Madhyapur Thimi, Bhaktapur, where 65 people were sheltered in tent. “The health condition of people in the tents were not good and they have no access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation. Most of the children started to with getting illness day by day”, Ms. Roni Shakya, one of the volunteers of ECCA and member of NCCN briefed the condition of communal shelter in Bhaktapur. “Distribution of these filters have ensured the availability of safe drinking water to the families living outside in tents”, she further added as she took incharge for the distribution of filter in Bhaktapur. Safe water for drinking purpose in these communal areas became a big challenge which was tackled through installing the filter in the community.

Children using the ECCA WATER FILTER

Children using the ECCA WATER FILTER

In coordination with Himalayan Crossroads, 30 sets of filters were distributed for the EQ affected families in Chokati village of Sindhupalchok District and 40 sets of filters were installed in the community shelter at Kathmandu, where families displaced from Sindhupalchok were rehabilitated.

The water filter that ECCA has been assembling are prepared through using treatment of silver colloidal solution which ensures the purity of water upto 99.99%.

A small child drinking water from the FILTER

A small child drinking water from the FILTER

To increase support for our initiation and intensify the relief activities, we would like to request you to share our project placed in Global Giving website for online fundraising Earthquake Relief: Providing Safe  Drinking Water. Please help us spread the word around your network through Facebook and Twitter and intensify our relief activities

By: Angel Chitrakar, Priyanka Ghale & Palistha Shrestha

 

EQ RELIEF DISTRIBUTION: Kudare

On May 10, 2015 another team form ECCA left early in the morning for Kudare, Ward 1 of Kunchowk V.D.C., Sindhupalchowk.

A crowd gathers, awaiting relief

A crowd gathers, awaiting relief

When the ECCA team reached there, the villagers welcomed them gratefully and gave their full cooperation throughout the distribution. A local, Mr. Suman Tamang had come to ECCA requesting assistance in the form of relief materials.

ECCA distributed food ration (a sack of rice, salt, lentils, oil and sugar) to 52 families in Kudare and to 18 families in Shyanbho, Chautara Municipality, Sindhupalchowk.

Distribution of relief materials

Distribution of relief materials

A local from Ward 2 came to the distribution site and demanded some of the supplies to be sent to his village as well. After a small discussion, the locals from both the Wards were able to reach an understanding. All the relief materials were left under the care of the locals from Ward 1.

“Everything was going smoothly with the distribution but it halted abruptly in the middle with the meddling of a local person from Ward 2. He went as far as to threaten us. He said, the next time we bring relief materials, we better bring some for them as well or else …..” Ashish Maharjan, a volunteer from ECCA said with disbelief. He said he hadn’t expected such threats while distributing the relief materials.

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“After everything was over, the locals parted with us with great respect. Before I left the village, they gathered around and presented us with a Khata, a small token of their gratitude they said”, Ashish reminisced with joy. He felt overwhelmed at their response.

Landslides on the way

Landslides on the way

The return back was obstructed by heavy rainfall and storms. Due to the degradation of the roads and the high probability of landslides, the ECCA team decided to stay back in the village. Our volunteer spent the night in Mr. Suman’s tent and returned on 11th May. ECCA is thankful to Mr. Suman for his understanding and cooperation.

This trip was initiated as per the request of the local villagers there. Many more programs are being conducted based on the request of the local villagers. This ensures that the relief materials reach the villages.

To increase support for our initiation and intensify the relief activities, 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 Support Nepal Earthquake Relief and donate.

Please help us spread the word around your network through Facebook and Twitter and intensify our relief activities.