Demonstration of Rainwater Harvesting System.
After the destructive earthquake a year ago, on 25 April 2015, many families lost their shelter being among the internally displaced populations (IDP).
Among them about 60 household families from Liwali, Bhaktapur lost their houses. As a temporary shelter, these families settled at Liwali IDP Camp. There are many issues prevalent in the camp. However, inadequate safe drinking water and sanitation is one of the foremost issues. To support the people living at the campsite, GUTHI in partnership with International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (IRHA) and with the support of Republic and State of Geneva initiated Emergency Rain Project. The project focused on the provision of Rainwater Harvesting System to the community people.
Under the Emergency Rain Project, a kick off event was organized on May 28 2016. The objective of the event was to raise awareness about rainwater management and sanitation issues. The organizer displayed the posters depicting the importance of rainwater management and maintenance of the system. Moreover, there were posters demonstrating the hand-washing steps and menstrual hygiene management.
The residents of Liwlai IDP Camp participated in the event. Narayan Khaito, President of Liwali IDP Camp said, “The installation of rainwater harvesting system is a vital step in face of prevalent water scarcity in the campsite. Besides, awareness session would support the management of the system in future.” The session started with an introduction of the rainwater and the harvesting system. During the event, project coordinator Bimala Gurung highlighted the current water and sanitation issues and Liwali camp and need of rainwater harvesting. “The community people have been collecting rainwater in traditional ways but they are excited by seeing the modern technology of rainwater harvesting and the recharging of water in ground,” said Gurung.
During the event, issues regarding water shortage and importance of rainwater harvesting were discussed. Participants expressed their gratitude to be a part of the program. “We used rainwater for bathing and cleaning the utensils but never knew that we can use it for drinking purpose after treating it properly,” said Kamal Keshari, a resident of Liwlai IDP Camp.
After the formal session, orientation on rainwater management and sanitation was given to the community people. The people have been listening about the rainwater harvesting since a long time. After, model demonstration, people learned about the mechanism of the system. Therefore, the people were excited to see the system installed in their community. Subham Gosai from Liwali IDP Camp supported the session citing that he learned about the water cycle and rainwater harvesting in school, however, seeing the practical demonstration of the system was more educational. Moreover, 18 children were oriented on effective hand-washing practice along with step of hand washing.
Realizing the importance of the Menstrual Hygiene Management, GUTHI integrated a session on menstrual hygiene management along the sanitation awareness-raising program. There was an active participation of women and adolescents girls of the community. The session also focused on the menstrual taboos prevalent in the community. The participants shared about the taboos prevalent and the society and how they have been defending themselves from such taboos. After the orientation session, Shova Koju from Liwali IDP Camp said “The awareness session enlightened me about the impact of using sanitary napkins for a long time. I learned that keeping the pads more than 6 hours may cause adverse effect to our health.” Another residence of the community, Ratna Maya further added that the sanitary pads needs to be incinerated or managed safely.
The kickoff event provided the basic information of the emergency rain project which begun with raising awareness on the water and sanitation at IDP camp. In the coming weeks and months, the GUTHI team will be working with the community members to implement proposed activities under rain projects.
Sarita Pandey, GUTHI