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.

Nepal Earthquake Recovery Program Through Schools At Kavrepalanchowk and Lalitpur Districts

Orientation on safe drinking water

Orientation on safe drinking water

“I have seen progressive change in the behavior and regular attendance of the students due to the camp activities. Now, the students are more active, energetic and lively in the schools. The technique is very effective as they are learning through fun and interactive activities. I am very grateful to ECCA team and the volunteers for all the support and the help.” Words shared by Jiya Ram Shrestha, Vice-Principal of Shree Purna Sanjiwani Lamkhanamai Higher Secondary School, Dhulikhel-5, Kavre.

With the support from “Newtown High School, Elmhurst New York”, and “Hope for the Children Foundation, New York”, ECCA conducted 3 days training on Water and Sanitation (WASH) and Life Skill Program along with psychological activities in total 6 schools (five located in Kavrepalanchowk and one in Lalitpur district). These two districts are among the 14 hardest-hit districts of Nepal earthquake. About half of the population of both districts – approximately 150,000 people – has been rendered homeless by this disaster. Due to the damage incurred inside the school and their house, due to many earthquake aftershocks, due to human casualties among their relatives and friends, many students were in a state of shock. The program facilitated different fun, skillful, engaging and relieving activities for altogether 1420 students to support them get used to the normal school life again. Life skill consists of Communication, Leadership, Cooperation, Goal Setting and Confidence.

Copies being distributed

Copies being distributed

The schools were:

  1. Shree Himalaya Higher Secondary School
  2. Shree Jana Jyoti Secondary School
  3. Bal Mandir Lower Secondary School
  4. Shree Harisiddhi Lower Secondary School
  5. Shree Purna Sanjiwani Lankhanamai Higher Secondary School
  6. Bal Vinod Secondary School

Precaution was also needed to be taken, since, after natural disasters; there have been many cases of epidemics, which occur due to unsafe drinking water. Unawareness and drinking unsafe water increases the death toll after the disastrous event. Manoj Khadka, a student of eighth grade from Bal Vinod Secondary School and member of Bal Vinod Nature club, expressed that he has learned about the benefits of chlorine solution WATASOL. Since then, he has been using WATASOL to purify water. Previously, he and his family used to drink water directly from the tap, due to which his family used to suffer from water borne diseases. But, after taking the precautions, now, he and his family are safe.

Students with distributed chlorine solution WATASOL

Students with distributed chlorine solution WATASOL

ECCA distributed copies and chlorine solution WATASOL (to disinfect drinking water) to all the students and supported a day meal in all 6 project schools for all the students and the staff members during the training period. Day meal also motivated the students to come to the school continuously.

Students of different grades studying in the same tent

Students of different grades studying in the same tent

At the end of the camp, Ishwor Sharma, Principal of Shree Harisiddhi Lower Secondary School shared “I express my gratitude to ECCA for supporting stationery materials for all the students and volleyball, first aid kit and jerry cans for our school.”

The whole program was fruitful. The teachers and the whole community were thankful and delighted to have the ECCA team. The team was successful in helping the students / children to revive from the traumatized situation and continue their studies normally.

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

WASH and Life Skill Camp @ Dalchoki, Southern Lalitpur

With the Children of Dalchoki –  Palistha Shrestha (ECCA Counsellor)

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

Dalchoki Team : (From the left) Sujan Prajapati, Yangji Sherpa, Palistha Shrestha, Samata Rajkarnikar, Merina RanaMagar, Nirajan Shrestha

Dalchoki Team : (From the left) Sujan Prajapati, Yangji Sherpa, Palistha Shrestha, Samata Rajkarnikar, Merina RanaMagar, Nirajan Shrestha

5 teams began their journey to the rural areas of Lalitpur on June 6, 2015. The teams had prepared their session plans and the required materials as per the trainings they had received few days ago.

As we made our way towards the rural area, we were reminded of the devastation caused by the earthquake of April 25, 2015. The road was covered with dust from the debris of the collapsed houses. Some houses were being demolished at several places while many had temporary supports to prevent them from collapsing.

My team was assigned to Dalchoki, Lalitpur. The massive contrast of the standard of living between the city and the villages of the same district was unexpected. In just an hour ride, we reached a village so rural and under developed, it was hardly believable that it was only about 30 km away from the capital.

We unloaded all our supplies on the top of the hill and began our descend to the school located below. The steep slope of the road made it increasingly difficult (and tiring) to make several trips. With the help from the villagers, we were able to take all our supplies to the school in two trips.

We began exploring the school premises for a place to pitch our tent and to assemble our supplies. The school had generously arranged utensils and a gas stove for our use. We decided to pitch our tents inside the Temporary Learning Centers as there were no other open spaces and fierce winds usually dominated the night air. We decided a session plan, divided our responsibilities before dinner and called it a day.

Early the next day, we disassembled our tents and began preparing the materials needed for the sessions. After a quick breakfast, we headed for a short meeting with the teachers and staffs of the school to introduce ourselves as well as discuss about our session plans.

Students along with the teachers enjoying 'Balloon Blast'

Students along with the teachers enjoying ‘Balloon Blast’

Together with Yangji Sherpa, my first session started off at 11am with the students from Grade 1-3. With their classrooms destroyed by the earthquake, they were assembled under a temporary shelter outside. We began our session with a short ball game but the small children were hesitant to play with us. Next we played ‘Balloon Blast’. This game requires students to burst each others’ balloons tied to their legs while saving their own. This game was an instant success and the children enjoyed it immensely. The teachers also participated in the games, which encouraged the students to approach us. The prospective of bursting balloons excited not only the small children but the higher class students as well. A small group of students from other classes gathered to watch the little kids play.

My next session was with the students from Grade 6. After waiting eagerly for their turn, they hurriedly entered the class when I approached them. With almost 50 students, the task was a little exhausting but the students were very cooperative and eager to learn and play games. This greatly reduced the difficulties arising due to large number of students.

We provided biscuits and juice to all the students as well as the staffs during the lunch break.  My second session with the students from Grade 1-3 started off with fresh enthusiasm from the students. They were more lively and active while coloring and tracing. They began calling us “Miss”. Being called upon when they had doubts and difficulties was a proud moment for me. Getting accepted as their teacher and guiding them as they colored was a joyous moment.

Taking sessions with 6th graders

Taking sessions with 6th graders

My last session for the day was with the 6th graders again. Yangji accompanied me as the number of students was large. We taught them Future Ladder, an activity where the students establish their goals and learn the steps they have to climb to reach their ambition.

The day ended with loud farewells and promises to play a lot more the next day. With a little rest, we decided to explore the surrounding areas. The cool wind blowing through was refreshing against Kathmandu’s dusty and warm winds.

After a group discussion on the day’s sessions and some planning for the next day, we cooked our dinner, pitched our tents and slept soundly.

Surrounded by warm smiles

Surrounded by warm smiles

The next two days were filled with more interesting games and activities like puppet making, wall magazines, science show and wall comics for students from Grade 6-8 and mask making, clay work and rhymes for students from Grade 1-5. The number of students attending the classes started increasing as the days passed by. We organized an exhibition on the last day where they displayed all their activities done in the camp. Students from Grade 4-5 eagerly presented the new rhymes that they had learned in the sessions. We handed over game materials to the school as well.

The students showed more enthusiasm as the day went by. Some of them arrived almost an hour early and stayed back after the school and insisted on playing with us. Some of the students gave us fruits and potatoes grown locally as gifts. A few even came to see us off. Such positive responses from students made our exhaustion worthwhile.

“My daughter who normally does not like to go to school has been very eager to leave for school in the mornings. She is always asking me for the time”, a mother said to us. The teachers and parents gave us positive feedbacks as well.

The warm farewell!

The warm farewell!

We were constantly supported by the school’s principal, Mr. Laxmi Timalsina and the staffs.

The program ended with a bittersweet feeling of completing it successfully but leaving warm smiles and laughter behind. Going to remote areas and sharing our knowledge to uplift the spirits of bright young students was truly a refreshing and satisfying experience.

I would like to thank ECCA for giving us this opportunity to go and conduct camps in rural areas. It was truly a momentous  and memorable experience.

WASH and Life Skill Program in Schools

Students in a shed in front of a damaged classroom  in Dalchoki school

Students in a shed in front of a damaged classroom in Dalchoki school

Immediately after the earthquake, for a month, ECCA focused its resources in relief works. Thereafter, ECCA started focusing on recovery and rehabilitation works. As ECCA has been working through the school system in the past years, now also, ECCA is focusing its post-quake recovery and rehabilitation works through the school system and reaching the adjoining communities.

Students using ECCA distributed copies in Sankhu school

Students using ECCA distributed copies in Sankhu school

After the earthquake, as per the government of Nepal announcement, schools re-opened from 31st May. Since then, in the period of 3 weeks (till 20th June), ECCA conducted WASH and Life Skill Camps (3-days each) in 17 schools located in Lalitpur, South Lalitpur and Kavre. All of these camps targeted all the students (from class 1 to 10) in the schools, by dividing them into 4 groups (grade 1-3, 4-5, 6-8, 9-10). The ECCA team consisted of 4 to 6 trained counselors (depending upon the no. of school students).

Providing biscuits and juice in Sankhu school

Providing biscuits and juice in Sankhu school

Under WASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene), students were briefed on the need to use safe drinking water and various water disinfection methods (with specific reference to use of chlorine solution) so as to prevent the occurrence of water borne diseases (Note: there is high risk of occurrence of such epidemics after natural disasters).
Under the Life skill, focus was on helping students overcome the earthquake trauma through different educational games and activities. It is essential to relieve children’s stress and motivate them to come to school (even if they need to study in make shift sheds / large tents / large tarpaulin). (Note: Due to the damage incurred inside the school and their house, due to many earthquake aftershocks, due to human casualties among their relatives and friends, many students are in a state of shock and are mentally disturbed.)

Students attending classes in a Temporary Learning Centre

Students attending classes in a Temporary Learning Centre

In addition to the camps, education materials (copy, pencil, erasure, dot pen) were distributed to all the students in those schools. Due to the destruction of their houses, students have lost their books, copies, stationeries (in their house debris), including other materials.
Sabita, student of grade 9 in Goth Bhanjyang Higher Secondary School Dalchoki, South Lalitpur says “The depression that I had due to the damage caused by the earthquake, and the fear that I had when coming to school (which is also partly damaged) is now reduced after attending the camp.” Students who were reluctant to work in group activities in the beginning participated actively in later sessions. The number of students attending the school also increased after the start of the camp.

Activity in Binayak Bal Secondary School

Activity in Binayak Bal Secondary School

Coordination was done with the school management, when selecting the schools for the camp. The school teachers were also very supportive and participated in the camp activities. The teachers observed that the students were more active and outgoing as the camp progressed. Due to lack of educational materials, the school conducts very limited extracurricular activities. Thus, the activities taught in the camp were very advantages to the students.

Students learn about cooperation and writing skills as they prepare wall magazine

Students learn about cooperation and writing skills as they prepare wall magazine

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

Life Skills Camp: Children Rehabilitation Campaign training at Rato Bangala School

On 25th May 2015, a team of 21 youth volunteers from ECCA headed towards Rato Bangala School (RBS), Patan Dhoka to participate in a day long Teacher Training Program “Relief Through Education”. The training was organized by Rato Bangala Foundation in coordination with Karkhana with an objective to help enhance the capacity of teachers / volunteers towards facilitating the sessions in schools and create a learning and sharing environment so that the students could cope with the changes being brought by the earthquake.

Group Photo

A Group Snap after the training Program (Gr 1)

Group Phot

A Group Snap after the training (Gr 2)

All the Youth volunteers / counselors from ECCA actively participated in all the activities of the training program. The caring and sharing environment during the training session facilitated by the resource persons, motivated all the participants to mitigate query in the sessions.

As the youths participating in this training program were also preparing towards organizing “Life Skill Camp: Children Rehabilitation Campaign” in various ECCA project schools, the training program were highly effective and beneficial to all the participants. The interactive activities, group works and games played during the session helped our volunteers on how to effectively share the message and facilitate the group activities during facilitating sessions in schools for students.

Participants being briefed about Morning Meetings

Facilitating sessions by trainers

Rebuilding the heritages

Group Activities – Rebuilding the heritages

In order to release the earthquake trauma from the mind of students, the activities like drawing, coloring were discussed in the training so that the students could express their feelings and emotions related with earthquake and the analyze their views and sufferings. Games that conveyed the importance of team work, cooperation and creativity were also shared among the participants so that they could organize similar activities and games for the students during their facilitation of session in schools. Throughout the day, the teachers from Rato Bangala School (RBS) shared their experiences on how to deal with students of all age groups. The teachers form RBS stressed on the importance in encouraging and applauding the students after every activity to boost their morale. Sharing experiences and lessons learnt after every activity were also stressed upon. Earthquake drill was also held for all the participants as a precaution measure to be taught to the students.

Group work

Discussion in Group as an activity

The 4 days Life Skill Camp being organized by ECCA also aimed towards encouraging and facilitating students to attend the schools after the devastating earthquake. After the completion of this camp in all the schools, we hope to view the regular operation of day to day activities in schools.

ECCA would like to thank the Rato Bangala Foundation and Karkhana for facilitating our youth counselors / volunteers who are coordinating to organize Life Skill Camp in various schools in Lalitpur, Kavre, Dokha & Sindhupalchok District.

We would like to request for your support in our initiation and intensify our rehabilitation activities through sharing our work in your social networking sites. Please help us spreading our work in your network through visiting our Facebook page and Twitter and intensify our relief activities. We are also receiving financial donations through our online project Support Nepal Earthquake Relief from Global Giving.

Thank you for your time and support.

Angel Chitrakar & Palistha Shrestha

EQ RELIEF MATERIALS @ Lisankhu

On May 9th, a team from ECCA left for ward 8 and 9 of Lisankhu V.D.C., Sindhupalchowk with relief materials along with Mr. Gopal Bhandari, a local from the village. The site for the distribution was selected keeping his request in consideration. None of the relief teams had previously reached the village.

Forms being filled before the distribution

Forms being filled before the distribution

ECCA distributed food ration (a sack of rice, salt, lentils, oil and sugar) as well as 20 Tarpaulins and 30 tents to 50 households.

“When I reached my village a few days after the earthquake, I was saddened to see the devastation. I was immensely bothered by the fact that no help had reached my village. My heart filled with a desire to help them as much as I could”, Mr. Gopal said.

“I was fortunate to get help from ECCA”, he said. “I accompanied the ECCA team and was present during the distribution. Their (the local villagers) smiles satisfied me greatly. I was happy to be able to do something for my family as well as all the villagers there”.

Villagers with the relief materials

Villagers with the relief materials

The locals departed with warm smiles and blessings. Receiving relief materials for the first time gave the villagers hope and helped them to start thinking beyond the destruction.

Villagers carry away their share

Villagers carry away their share

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.

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