2013 Nepal Water Project

Visit to Nepal in November 2013

Nepal Water Project

Mark Townsend visited Nepal last November for a fact finding mission with Richard Backwell from the Okhle Village Trust (OVT) and Richard Brind from Dorchester Casterbridge Rotary Club.

The villages visited are all in the Tanahun District of Central Nepal. A 6-7 hour drive west from Kathmandu to Dumre on tarmac then a 2 hour drive north on unmade roads, across a river with no bridge and steeply up into the hills in a very uncomfortable 4WD local bus.

The work in the villages is overseen locally by Bimal Gurung.  Richard Backwell and Mark first met him in 2002 when he was their guide on a trek in the Langtang National park and got to know him very well.  He told them about Okhle, his village and the need for water.  Richard Backwell took this on board and started the Okhle Village Trust.

An enormous amount of work has already been accomplished by the OVT such as water supplies for Okhle and surrounding villages, plus books, materials for schools, clothes and sewing machines.

The villages are very poor and many villages live in poverty.  On this visit the team were requested for help with four water projects and two community centres.  It was not possible to undertake all these projects, so on behalf of their respective clubs Richard Brind and Mark Townsend decided that the goal would be to help fund the two priorities - Raile and Madkina.  


The Village of Raile is situated a 2 hour walk west of Okhle village.  There are 50 houses with a population of 350 approximately.  There are 2 small springs above the village and during the monsoon season there is enough water to fill a 6000 litre leaky ancient concrete water tank with a single tap.  

For the remaining ten months the villagers have to walk to a tap in another village and purchase water.  Every drop of water for drinking, washing,toilet flushing, irrigation etc has to be carried by hand. It can take up to 60 minutes for a round trip  of 1km for each container of water. 

The Project

1. Build a concrete collecting chamber at one of the souce springs.  The other one already had a chamber.  To replace plastic piping to the village tank.

2.  Build a 30,000 litre concrete water tank above the village.  This will fill during the Monsoon Season, then be replenished by the spring during the dry season.  Used carefully this will be enough to give the village a supply all year round.

3. Build 5 taps.  These are concrete structures with a drain so that washing may be done at the tap,  One at the level of the tank for the upper part of the village.  One at road level for the central part of the village and two more below for the lower parts of the village and another one a kilometre away for the outreach part of the village.

4.  Connecting plastic pipe work fo source springs to holding tank and then to the five taps.

5.  Labour.  Much of the work was undertaken by the villages themselves such as digging foundations for taps and tank, also trenches for the pipes at no cost.  However, skilled labour was required for constructing the tank, in particular, for rendering the inside to ensure no leaks occurred.

The estimated cost was 4,000.

Work started at the beginning of January and was completed in March within budget.  


This project is currently under way and is expected to be completed by the end of July/August 2014.

Madkina is a short distance away from Raile and has a population of 130.  They have a similar problem in that they have to walk 300m with a steep descent to get to a shared water source, but once again a round trip to fill each container of water can take upto an hour.  

This smaller project only requires a 30,000 litre tank, minimal piping and a tap, which will fill in the monsoon season.  Carefully used this will be enough for the villagers for the whole year.  The cost of this project it 1500.

These projects have been funded by small grants from District 1200 and OVT as well as fund raising by Our members and those of Casterbridge Rotary club via several events and donations.  

Both projects will transform the lives of the villagers of Raile and Madkina.

The Future

Richard Brind, Richard Backwell and Mark are returning to Nepal later in the year.  They will inspect the work of the projects to ensure that everything has been completed satisfactorily and look to see if there are any other similar projects that the Clubs could assist with.

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