Water Programme Samjur, Nepal
Our 2020/2021 project is to construct a water storage and distribution system in the village of Samjur in a rural area of central Nepal.
Water Programme for Samjur, Nepal
Our 2020/2021 project was to construct a water storage and distribution system in the village of Samjur in a rural area of central Nepal. The village consists of 30 houses and approximately 150 villagers.
Close to the village is a school and they require a toilet and water supply.
Rotarians from both Portland and Casterbridge clubs first visited Samjur in 2015. The earthquake devastated the school, and the Okhle Village Trust with Rotary help built a brand-new school. We visited again in 2017 and 2019. The need for this new project became clear.
It is a six-hour journey on tarmac from Kathmandu then a further three hours on unmade up roads into the hills. The village is above the Terai (lowlands) to the south but below the Himalayas to the north.
The village currently has a gravity-fed water system with good output from the spring that feeds it. The tank leaks badly and no longer fulfils basic needs of the village. The villagers have to walk to a neighbouring village to collect water which can be a round trip of an hour.
The plan was to construct a collection chamber at the year-round spring and a new 15000 litre concrete storage tank above the village. Water would then be distributed by new pipes to existing taps located in the village.
The primary school is on a spur a few hundred metres from the village. The children had an unusable toilet and there was no water supply.
A brick built single toilet would be constructed and a water supply led from the village main tank.
This system would give all villagers access to clean water and pupils at the school access to clean water and a flushing toilet which will improve their health and enable them to use their time and energy more productively.
Due to the early monsoon weather, floods that washed roads away and the Coronavirus pandemic the project was delayed
The outbreak of Covid-19 affected mainly the large cities such as Kathmandu due to its density of population. Lockdown applied to the whole country. There was a ban on transport of materials and also movement of people between wards.
In late June measures were relaxed and work began on digging out the footings and materials were purchased (cement and ironwork) and stored in the nearby town of Dumre (about 2 hours drive along dirt track road from the villages).
Due to their remote rural location the villages remained clear until late July/ early August when there were 35 cases of Covid-19 in Dumre. Also, in September a case occurred in Samjur.
Villages imposed their own lockdown and stopped all movement between each other and further set back the work.
In late December it became possible to recommence work. The project was finally completed by the end of February 2021.
The new tank above the village was completed and earth banked around it for support. There is a tap at the tank for the village. Plastic piping was led to the school approximately 300m away where a toilet was constructed at the school and adjacent tap.
The benefits are clean and plentiful supply of water to the village for consumption, washing and irrigation. Hygienic toilet and hand washing facilities at the school. Added benefit of children educated in hygiene at school and bringing the message to their families at home