The project uses solar electricity to pump water to needy communities in the foothills of the Himalayas in Nepal. To realise this goal, we identified a UK charity, Renewable World (RW), to work with us as a co-operating organisation. The technology used, termed SolarMUS, is well established and has been proven in 30 such projects already installed by RW in Nepal.
Nepal is a poor country, ranked 2nd poorest in Asia, where half the population live on less than $2 per day. The communities being helped by SolarMUS projects typically live at altitude where access to water often involves trekking downhill up to a mile to a source of water and carrying it back uphill in containers to provide water for drinking, cooking, hygiene and agricultural needs. This work is often done by the women and children because many of the men work away to send money back to their families. Services are poor in these regions, with the government only providing gravity-fed water systems, which are often insufficient, and electricity is unreliable and intermittent.
Together with RW, we have identified a community in the Gumli Region of central Nepal which is in need of help to access water. Kavre Pokhari is a community of around 390 people with a local secondary school serving the area which has about 340 students and staff. When water is available, it is limited to 500 litres per day, via gravity-fed systems or is supplied by tanker. The only alternative to these sources is by carrying it uphill from a water source some distance away. The SolarMUS equipment will provide spring water at 28,000 litres per day directly to the community and school from an established source.
Our club's immediate objective is to obtain pledges of support for $15,000 from clubs in our district, or from other suitable sources, to support an application for a District matched grant (District Designated Fund) and subsequently a Global Grant (TRF).
To assist us practically in the implementation of the project, we have established a good working relationship with The Rotary E-Club of District 3292 (Nepal and Bhutan) who are enthusiastically supporting the project. This Club is currently working with Renewable World's in-country staff in Nepal to plan the Community Assessment process at the beginning of the project in early 2021. The project will then take about 12 months to complete.
In addition to the benefits above, this project will provide the school and local community with WASH and Climate-smart Agriculture training. The Nepali club will work with Renewable World to achieve this. RW's approach is to fully engage the community from the beginning of the project, involve the people in planning and installing the equipment, and establish a legally-based organisation to manage the ongoing operation, ensuring sustainability over the long term. SolarMUS installations have an expected life of 20 yrs.