A kick off event was organized on 21 July, 2017.
The objective of the event was to inform the school about the acitivities to be implemented at the Viswa Niketan Secondary School under the Rain Community project. It was also organised to raise awareness about rainwater management and sanitation issues. GUTHI displayed the posters depicting the importance of rainwater management and maintenance of the system, hand-washing steps and menstrual hygiene management reaching out to 681 beneficiaries directly through poster exhibition, inauguration of the rainwater harvesting system and while 900 plus articles dessiminated by different media.
Later, rainwater harvesting system installed under the Emergency Rain project too was inaugurated by Mr. Bhim Prasad Upadhyay, Secretary, Ministry of Water Supply and Sanitation. Mr. Upadhyay thanked and congratulated the school, GUTHI and IRHA for the successful completion of the project while wished good luck for the new project Rain Community’s initiation. He further added, "I request GUTHI and IRHA to construct RWH system at Singha Durbar as well. We are ready to bear the cost and the collected water can be recharged and distributed to the Kathmandu residents." This way, if all sectors and all the residents of Kathmandu realize the importance of RWH, the problem of water scarcity can be eradicated forever.
"At Switzerland, we were very concerned about Nepal after the 2015 earthquake; and we understood that something needed to be done. This is why we started this project", reflected Mr. Han Heijnen, President of IRHA (International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance). After the earthquake, the school suffered a massive water scarcity which resultedin poor sanitation facility. Thus, realizing this pressing need to supply adequate water, Emergency Rain project was initiated at the school in November, 2015. Now, a catchment area of 428.97 sq. m is fulfilling the water demand, bringing back smiles on student's and staff's faces.
In 2007, Higher Secondary Board, Nepal selected Viswa Niketan Secondary School as 'Model Higher Secondary School' on the basis of its consistent bright result and presentable physical infrastructure."And now we are proud to be a model school with rainwater harvesting system as well." said Ms. Ganga Thapa, Assistant Vice-Principle.
Along with the physical construction activities, GUTHI had also organized various training program on rainwater harvesting, WASH and disaster for the students, as well asthe staff.Mr.Helamba Raj Kadel, the Principal said, "The frequent training sessions conducted by GUTHI has brought a positive change in us. So, we have realized that it is our duty to protect this RWH system and make it long lasting."
Mr. Sanjeev Bikram Rana, Executive Director, Kathmandu Valley Water Supply Management Board spoke focusing on the relation between rainwater harvesting and climate change. He focused how RWH canrecharge the ground water and reduce the effects of climate change. He said, "Indeed rainwater harvesting should be done in all areas." The RWH system at the school is connected to a recharge well, restricted for water extraction. After the storage tank is full, surplus water flows into the recharge well.
The RWH system at Viswa Niketan Secondary School serves the school population of 2600. The sanitation of the school has improved profoundly as there is enough water to clean the toilets and the surroundings. GUTHI had also contributed in the maintenance of existing toilets at the school.
In the coming days, GUTHI will conduct additional WASH awareness raising and technical sessions at the school to strengthen and improve their WASH behaviours.