Following the devastating 2015 earthquake in Nepal, Hexham Rotary Club was determined to provide help for a small village and a school. Brian Massey and his wife had recently returned from a visit to Nepal where they  visited and made friends with Rotarians in the Rotary Club of Kantipur in Kathmandu. Using these contacts, Brian found that help was needed in a village called Khanigaun about 15 kilometers from Kathmandhu where their only water supply from local streams had been been devastated by the ‘quake. In addition the Sri Prithvi Higher Secondary School at Goldhunga had an inadequate water supply also damaged by the earthquake. Its high location meant it had to buy in 2000l of water each day for the 700 pupils and 35 staff and even this was not enough and the pupils had to bring water from home.
villageThe solution for the village was to make use of the supply the villagers had found. It was 300 metres below the village and was reached by a path 1.5 kilometres long down which the village women walked each day to carry water back to the village. After consultation with a local engineering firm and the villagers, it was decided to install a pumped system to pipe the water up to the village. This entailed providing storage at the spring and pumping the water in three stages up to the village. At each stage there would be a pipelinestorage tank and another pump to lift the water to the next stage. The project was complicated by the intermittent electricity supply and voltage fluctuation problems. Tests showed however that if the pump was operated for two hours, twice a day, then enough water would be supplied for the village needs.

shedThe villagers were enthusiastic about the project and helped to dig the trenches for the pipe work and manhandled a shed to store equipment up the poor access to the village. To ensure the equipment was maintained in working order a small charge was made on each family and this provided enough springmoney to employ a maintenance man. He was trained by the engineers and this provided an additional job for a villager.

The school provided a different problem as because of its location there was no addition water supply within a sensible distance. However, the school buildings provided a roof area of 5,822 square feet and this could be tanksused to catch rainwater. It was decided to install a rainwater harvesting system which would supply 6 ten thousand litre storage tanks. The water from these tanks would go through a bio-sand filtration system and would supply 550 l of drinking water and 4,500 l of water for sanitation. The Head Teacher was delighted with this plan and, when the children were told they cheered Brian.

Brain Massey spent some time in Nepal working with the local villagers, the School Staff, The Engineering firm from Kathmandu and the local Rotary Club of Kantipur. The Kantipur Club looked after the project finances and provided the local supervision of the project. childrenThe £27,000 was made up of £7050 from Hexham RC, £1000 from other local Rotary Clubs, £1200 from the RC of San Diego and £75 from the Kantipur RC. The remaining £17,675 came from The Rotary Foundation. This is Rotary’s own charity to which most Rotarians contribute each year.

openingThe overall outcome of the project saw 500 villagers get a clean and adequate water supply for drinking and sanitation, together with enough water for cultivation. The school was able to increase its numbers and had sufficient water for drinking and sanitation. In wateraddition, classes had been given to teach everyone about Hygiene and Disease Prevention.
Finally, the project would not have been possible without a lot of hard work by Rotarians in the Uk and Nepal, the help of the local villagers and the backing of the Rotary Foundation.