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People's Environmental Awareness - Khati (PEAK) Follow PEAK with the financial assistance of World Nomads on the path to delivering educational, water supplies & solar home lighting systems to Kumaon villages....

Potable water project update....

INDIA | Wednesday, 28 May 2008 | Views [529]

Dipika, Hema & Mamate enjoy the spoils of soap

Dipika, Hema & Mamate enjoy the spoils of soap

Thankyou to the wonderful support of the World Nomads Footprints Program, in 2008 PEAK was able to initiate and successfully complete the Potable water/hygiene education project. As explained in a prior entry the project was slow to get going courtesy of some rugged climatic conditions over winter. However, once the skies cleared and with the help of eager workers we were able to complete the project in a relatively short time frame.

The community imput into this project was nothing short of phenomenal, ranging from a community workday to deliver the stones for the project with many helping hands eager to thread the water pipes. The children thought that the'tankies'(tanks) which had been head-loaded into Khati by Kundun in the depths of winter were the most wonderful thing to hit town and the excitment manifested with the addition of water and taps from which running water flowed!

One could liken the bars on the Environment Centre windows to a jail. Scott decided that he had a way better use for them and after going through a few hacksaw blades and verbalising a few expletives the iron bars were deftly removed from there standing position and marched down to Danni Ram who has a small forge at the bottom end of town. Here Danni worked his 'forging magic' and in no time the concept design was implemented and we had a set of gutter brackets that were affixed to the roof for rain water collection. Ingenuity and resource re-use is a must when your nearest hardware is at least two days away?!

Ramesh who was going to be our main worker was unfortunately waylaid with hospital trips for his ailing father 'Bellum' who is suffering from a chronic heart complaint. However, in conjunction with Prem he was available to hand saw the massive beams of wood that were utilised for the toilet roof. The main building materials used for this project were all sourced locally - this included recycling wood and stone work which the two local stone masons (Bishant & Dharn) exercised with amazing precision.

The existing toilet for BK's School was in a chronic state of disrepair and had no running potable water available. The toilet block was not only renovated but stone paths completed, two 500 litre tanks installed, and running water made available for school children. Potable water was also an added bonus for the first trekkers of the season coming through who were happy to fill up their bottles as opposed to purchasing plastic water bottles. The impact on individual (and in the long run community) hygiene has been overtly obvious at the beginning of this project. However, it will take some time to realise the impacts on plastic bottle consumption in the valley.

I would have to be honest and say that the project created minor logistical headaches, and the Kumaoni concept of time was very different to ours - requiring those two key words (and a few deep breaths) 'patience and perseverance'. Having said that it was also a wonderful project to facilitate and the joy of the children when it came to the hygiene education component of the project was nothing short of wonderful (not to mention the joy of playing with taps?!).

Bonnie & Scott (PEAK) May 2008

Tags: mountain water project



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