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.

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

Plantation for Preservation – One School One Heritage Campaign

Preparing for plantation at Sauga Hiti, Lalitpur.

Preparing for plantation at Sauga Hiti, Lalitpur.

ECCA has successfully completed the plantation program on December 5, 2014 with the participation of 70 pupils to mark Int’l Volunteer Day and World Soil Day. It is the program led by ECCA TGG members under One School One Heritage Campaign. It was held at two heritage sites; Purnachandi Temple and Sauga: Hiti of Patan.

Preparing for Plantation @ Purna Chandi Temple Premises.

Preparing for Plantation @ Purnachandi Temple Premises.

The students from 4 different schools namely, Balbinod Secondary School, Tri- Padma Higher Secondary School, Prabhat Higher Secondary School and Yashodhara Bouddha Secondary School had joined hands with TGG members, staff of ECCA and members from Tole Sudhar Samitee of respective heritage sites to make the event successful.

The two hour program was completed with lots of activities going on like clean up, loosening up soil, adding fertilizers, planting the saplings and watering them. All the participants gave a very good feedback on this program. All the community members were very happy with the efforts the youth and children have contributed towards the conservation of their local heritage sites. So, they also co-operated and even provided us with extra tools and water for plantation.

So, in a nutshell, the plantation program was successfully able to place 20 new plant pots at Purnachandi Temple while 108 new plant saplings in the old pots at Sauga: Hiti, which has improved the look of these heritage sites. For the sustainability of the impact, the pots were handed over to the community itself for further care of the plants.

Few glimpses of our activities in our Facebook Album.

ECCA honored with NATIONAL CONSERVATION AWARD

On 6th Dec  2014 (Mangsir 20, 2071), ECCA was awarded “Nature Conservation Award” by Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST). The award was handed over by the Chancellor of the Academy and Rt. Honorable Prime Minister Mr. Sushil Koirala.
National Conservation Award

National Conservation Award

On this special moment, the ECCA family expresses gratitude towards NAST, Government of Nepal, government agencies and local government, international and national institutions, schools and nature clubs, other partners, donors, ECCA members, counsellors, volunteers, resource persons, well wishers, and staffs for the continuous efforts, support and encouragement. Certainly, all of you are part of ECCA family and the recognition of ECCA includes all of you as well.
Congratulations to all.

National Conservation Award

National Conservation Award being received by Mr. Yogendra Chitrakar, Director, ECCA.

ECCA Citation Translated in English.

ECCA Citation Translated in English.

Mega Cleanup Campaign – One School One Heritage Campaign

It is always a start that needs the great effort.

This was the very first step led by The Generation Green (TGG) members to conserve the heritages which has been under shade via conducting cleanliness program under “One school one heritage” Program. On 22 November, 2014, Saturday, starting from Pulchowk to Gwarkho massive cleanliness program were held at heritage sites which included pulchowk stupa, purnachandi mandir, sundhara, saugal hiti and Tyagal hiti. This program consisted of about 250 participants who included students of Prabhat H.S.S, Shramjit Kishor S.S, Yashodhara Bouddha S.S, Bal Binod S.S, and Tri-Padma H.S.S, members of the Tole Sudhar Samitee, and TGG members along with the ECCA Staffs’.

Play Card

Slogan prepared to present during heritage walk.

 

Considering present scenario of the deteriorating heritage sites, the main motto of this program was to clean the heritage sites and restore its beauty by the active participation of school children, make the community member realize their role in conservation of their heritages and gain the sustainability in the long run for conservation.

Purna Chandi Temple

Local participating in Cleanup Campaign at Purna Chandi Temple.

 

Early in the morning at 6:30 am, Patan Durbar Square was covered with energetic participants for clean up where they collected the equipment such as mask, gloves and brush needed for the clean-up program.  We acknowledge the support of Environment Section – Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City for supporting the clean up program through providing adequate cleanup materials like brooms and dustbins.

students leg by TGG member

Students of Bal Binod S.S with TGG member

All the participating school were led by a responsible TGG member to their respective heritage site for clean-up program. The groups got additional support on cleanup equipments and help from the members of local Tole Sudhar Samitee during the cleanliness program in their respective sites. Local contribution added more energy to the participants for clean up as they were assisted by provisions of dustpans, sacks and water for drinking. Many people were impressed by the work which was shown by their curiosity and active participation in this clean-up program.  They even provided water, tea, snacks which were very wise act as these were not expected from the community. The chattering of the students added more fun in the scorching sun. Despite of late start, students did their task efficiently, leaving no more garbage behind.  Due to many helpful hands, cleanup program ended very successfully in five different heritage sites. Considering the personal hygiene of participants, they were provided with water and soap for their cleanliness.

During clean up program

Students of Shramjit Kishor S.S at Sundhara during clean up program

By the active participation of five schools, the event became successful but this is just only the beginning. ECCA’s mission will be completed when the people realize their roles and responsibilities towards the preservation of the cultural heritages. Hope this start can bring a positive change in people’s perception about conservation of our heritages and the efforts made by the students and TGG members will be valued in long run.

Before and after: Sundhara

Before and after: Sundhara

“A concerted effort to preserve our heritage is a vital link to our cultural, educational, aesthetic, inspirational and economic legacies- all of the things that quite literally make us who we are” – Steve Berry.

Some Glimpses on the activities performed during the event.

Subhaarambha – One School One Heritage

Participants of One School One Heritage Program

With the successful completion of two days training program for students on 17th & 18th November 2014, the begining of One School One Heritage Campaign has been initiated for its implementation at the community level. Eighteen students and three teachers from six different government schools – Tri Padma H.S.S., Bal Binod S.S., Adarsha Kanya H.S.S., Yasodhara Baudha S.S., Shramjeet Kishor S.S., and Prabhat H.S.S. had actively participated in the program. All the participating schools in this training were selected in such a way that they are located within the peripheral vicinity of the location from Pulchwok area to Gwarko area of Lalitpur District.

The main implementation strategy of the campaign is inclined towards linking Experts to Youths, Youths to Children and through Children to Local Awareness program, which is highly evidenced through its first training program given by the experts to the youths on 2nd and 3rd of November, 2014. This time, the training program was totally focused on the information dissemination and techniques dissemination to school children and the teachers through the active The Generation Green (TGG) youth members. The program dealt exclusively with a very informative and impressive interaction within the TGG youth members, the school children and the teachers about the importance of degrading cultural and religious heritage sites in the present context.

The first day (17th November), started with an introduction about heritages, UNESCO world heritage sites, discussion about importance of them and heritage sites of Nepal along with its present conditions by active TGG members. Not to make the whole program boring, it was intermitted by different games such as action pass, buzz and puzzle carrying both entertainment and some important lessons which helped students about leadership capability and gaining confidence. The day also had a very nice discussion about the present problems prevalent in the heritage area such as random waste disposals, unmanaged footpath shops and illegal utilization of natural resources followed by the possible steps in the future through self awareness, public awareness and strict implementation of rules and regulations that can lead towards well protection of the present heritage sites. The positive and progressive feedback got from the students by the end of the day proved that the day had been indeed very much successful.

Students learning about heritage.

Students learning about heritage.

The second day (18th November) initiated with a heritage walk from Patan Durbar Square to Bangalamukhi Temple being facilitated by Mr. Niroj Maharjan; gave a field based experiences to the participants regard to heritage sites. The division of participants into four groups, each assigned with a specific heritage sites were assigned to collect information about their respective sites. Discussions and interviews were taken with the locals which were used to develop the awareness materials for drama presentation, songs, informatory board and leaflets preparation in order to widely disseminate the importance and information collected during the site visit. At the end, all the schools were assigned with one heritage site for which the school and the students will initiate the steps towards its conservation and preservation in the days ahead to come. All the participants agreed to develop an action plan and appropriate strategies to work towards the heritage preservation in their locations.

Leaflet on Heritage by Students

Leaflet on Heritage by Students

This program can be a very suitable example towards a very popular proverb by Margaret Mead, ‘Children must be taught how to think not what to think’. The whole chain of teaching and learning from experts to youths and youths to children is strongly believed that it has helped students how to think about the future of these heritages which carry important knowledge from our ancestors and a great symbols of our culture and traditions. Furthermore, we are very hopeful that this program becomes efficient towards well conservation and preservation of our important cultural heritages through involvement of the school children.

The glimpses of the program could be viewed through this link.

Article Contributors: Ms. Tanjua Shrestha, Ms. Sara Byanzankar, Ms. Aruna Puri, Ms. Susmita Satyal