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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

Filter For Schools

On November 27, 2015 ECCA handed over 138 sets of filter to representatives of five schools of Southern Lalitpur where immediate attention for safe drinking water was required. In accordance with the need and number of students Shree Gothbhangyang Higher Secondary School of Dalchoki, Shree  Jana Jagriti H.S.S. of Ikudol, Kali Devi H.S.S of Malta, Shree MahaKali Devi H.S.S. of Bhatttedada and Shree MagarGaun H.S.S. of Sankhu received 28 sets, 31 sets, 29 sets, 32 sets and 18 sets of filters respectively.

The filters will be used for safe drinking water purpose in all classrooms. This will help in promotion of better health of students and teachers residing in the rural area. ECCA plans to provide filters sets to other needy schools in Southern Lalitpur as well.

To support our initiative, help us by donating through our Global Giving website!

Witnessing wonders of solar


IMG_3683

“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.

IMG_5521

IMG_5523

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.

IMG_5594

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

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.

villager

Written by Rabindra & Sadiksha

Solar lamps and panel distribution in Asrang

untitled

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

Initiating – KEDRIN

The Terrible Earthquake on the 25th April and the aftershocks that followed claimed over 8,000 souls and devastated the lives of many others in Nepal. Khokana, the town situated at six kilometers South of Kathmandu, turned into rubble and claimed 9 souls and its rich heritage: 812 houses have been completely destroyed and 355 houses are damaged rendering them unfit for human habitation. It was fortunate indeed many people were on their farms when the earthquake hit, resulting in lower fatalities than might have otherwise been expected.

An old women in her destructed house.

An old women in her destructed house.

People have been moved into temporary shelters, living behind their ruined and unsafe houses which are being used to store food and animals. The onset of the monsoon had made living and storing resources even more difficult. The “dunes” of collapse houses have also blocked thoroughfares, making the movement of people through the town and to other villages extremely hazardous and have forced people to live in and around dangerous areas at high risk to their health and lives.

Inspecting the damage of house.

Inspecting the damage of house.

Hence, with an objective to demolish buildings damaged by the earthquake and remove associated rubble and debris to allow regeneration of the community to begin, this project KEDRIN – Khokana Earthquake Debris Removal Initiative has been initiated. This will address the immediate need to demolish unsafe buildings and manage the debris generated in a proper manner. The majority of the damaged houses belong to members of the subsistence farming community who do not have the money to tackle the problem on an individual basis, however, if approached collectively, there would be economies of scale and it would be possible to clear the buildings and debris with fewer resources.

Managing temporary shelter.

Managing temporary shelter.

New plans for rebuilding and community regeneration will only be possible when collapsed structures and debris have been cleared and ample open space has been created. Once this has been achieved, the town can be redesigned and rebuilt, its community heritage and values reestablished, and the community’s way of life restored.

In order to receive financial support (donations) towards the implementation of this project, a donation page is also created in the platform of Global Giving which could be accessed through the links of Global Giving US, and Global Giving UK.

Updates related with the ongoing activities through social media could be received in our Facebook Link dedicated to this project, where as we will also be constantly updating our supporters and donors through our Blog Posts.

A short presentation regarding the project initiation is presented through a short video through this link in our Youtube Channel.

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.

Tents’ as a Temporary Shelter

“Home is where you feel the safety and having a roof above your head is the key to creating a beautiful family.” What if you worked hard all your life for it and then everything gets buried in a blink of an eye?

While the earthquake of 25th April, 2015 took lives of thousands, it has left another millions homeless. They nomore have a safe place to call their home. All the earnings of their life that they chose to spend on building a house of their own now lie just as painful reminiscences of the disaster. Many held onto their houses as  a source of economy and there’s no saying on how hard the quake hit livelihood of countless Nepalese people.

With the family members of Mr. Maharjan.

With the family members of Mr. Maharjan.

One of such victims is Mr. Kaji Ram Maharjan, a resident of Debdhunga, Kirtipur. Though he didn’t witness any loss of lives in his family, his house was severely damaged during the earthquake. “According to structural experts inspection, it’s unfit to live in. Now that means there’s no significance in having a house. Perhaps the only solution is to demolish it”, said Maharjan with a sad voice. With seven family members to look after including his old parents and his children, he was deeply worried about building a shelter until ECCA (Environment Camps for Conservation Awareness) came forward to help him and other families of Kirtipur who held similar stories of grief.

Many families were relieved as ECCA provided them with tents as temporary shelters. One could see their faces lit up as they set up the tents in unison. ECCA distributed sixteen tents to different victimized families of Kirtipur on June 14, June 28 and June 30.

EQ affected families in Kirtipur.

EQ affected families in Kirtipur.

According to Maharjan, the tents have proved to be a huge relief for all the families. “We’re now living in the tent except during heavy rains. But we do feel more secure than before and we thank ECCA for its generous contribution”, said he. “It will take a great deal of time to rebuild our houses. Till then we will have to rely on these tents and call it home.”, he added with a smile.

We would like to thank American Conservation Experience (ACE) for supporting us with the tents so that we could distribute to the needy families who are affected by Earthquake. Some glimpses of the Tent distribution in various locations could be viewed in our facebook Album of Tent Distribution.

By: Upama Tamla (ECCA Volunteer)