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

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

Teacher Interaction Program

Teacher Interaction Program

ECCA Nepal organized a teacher interaction program on 17 January, 2014. The main objective of the interaction program was to share activities organized by different Nature clubs activities focused on safe drinking water in their community and school area. In the interaction program 3 set of bottle, Jar and dispensaries were distributed to 35 Schools from Kathmandu, Bhaktpur, Lalitpur, Dolakha and Letang.