Himalaya & Sun

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                     This is story of every household of Nepal’s Himalayan region when you climb above 3000 m altitude. Most of household including hotels, lodges, restaurant are equipped with solar panel turned into direction of sun. Due to lack of transmission line to transmit hydro power generated electricity, solar power is only viable source of power for people living here. People are cent percent dependent on solar power to charge mobile battery, lighting small portion of house and watching selected television program. Although it is costly and provide minimum amount of power to run daily life still it is boon for them. There is no clue for survey of transmission line and searching alternative power.

                     So solar technology is not only environment friendly but it has been only hope of people to lighten their house. Thus government should be able to provide subsidy and encourage use of solar power. This is not only be Eco-friendly but also save forest from deforestation. If you want to see real life use of solar technology pack your bag and move toward Himalayas.

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Reflecting Back to Mentorship: Six months under Guidance

 

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                                The world is changing relatively faster than expected. The growing market of job is competitive and full of talent, where failing once means losing your job. The professional life is tough already, and its graph is increasing day by day. There are hundreds of professional coming out yearly with honed skills, talents and world life exposure. You cannot be left behind bewildering other progress.

                          Traditionally, the best way to learn was to find better master and be his/her apprentice. The evolving education system changed everything developing systematic progress of student to professional life. That does not mean need of mentorship/apprenticeship is bygone things. Still mentorship is considered best way to sharpening skills before you fail or simply learning by others failure. Your life is too short to fail on every step and learn from failure.

                           I got chance to be part of WWF Nepal The Generation Green Mentorship Program Batch 2 under mentor Anil Chitrakar (Social Entrepreneur). Along with me six others participated on this journey of six months. The main idea was to work one various creative project related to environment conservation, renewable energy use, 3R principle, wildlife conservation, and other several creative solutions. As we came from different background of study, it was hard for us to manage time for meeting and finalize our idea.

                    We were lacking confidence even we had ideas in mind, that’s where mentor guided us. He showed us light beyond tunnel and believed in our ideas. Every idea will work if you have courage to pursue them. These words still echo my ear and motivate me daily. Instead of focusing on single idea we tried cluster of idea as we had limited time of 6 months, so our ending point of idea would be starting point for upcoming groups.

                                 The main objective of our project was to establish a culture with a system of recycling, reusing and reducing of waste (food, plastic, paper, rubber & water). The basic task was to help in the conversion of low – end input waste into high value output. We helped to facilitate and bridge gap between waste utilizing institutions by innovative alternatives to appropriate potential market by designing ergonomically viable products as such:

1. Reusing Rubber Tire by Giving Aesthetic Values for Parks, Schools and Communal area.

                       The tire has been real issue as it cannot be recycled (economically at low scale in country like Nepal) or reduced but can only be re-used. We had re-used tire by integrating them into environment. They were used as flower pots for large plants, swings in garden or home, decoration by giving colors. We identified certain schools formed Eco-Clubs or youth clubs with whom we worked so that the sustainability of the project will not be an issue if local young people will take care of it.

Figure. Tire Gardening at Shree Janajyoti Secondary School, Banepa 

Figure. Tire Gardening and Orientation at Sainik School, Pokhara 

Figure.  Tire Gardening and Orientation at Ratna Rajya School, Kathmandu

2. Advocated use of recycled Plastic Bags into Ropes or Fibers for Agricultural Support:

                        We helped to recycle/reuse plastic bags as rope and it was provided as sample to farmers. This was done through the re-use of plastic bags by making ropes or fibers from them. The ropes can be used for making various green house, support for vegetable growth, building birdcage, temporary shelter and even making fences. The high strength plastic rope and fibers will come in handy for farmers for daily use.

3. Encouraging institutions for Creative use of Paper:

                     Paper is widely used for various purposes like printing records, brochures and leaflets. Reduce use of paper, printing on both sides of paper and promotion of e-communication was encouraged. On joint collaboration with Women’s Dream Multipurpose Ltd we made pencil out of sample old newspaper and encouraged such initiatives from other organizations.

Figure. Training and Sample Old Newspaper Pencil, Kathmandu

 4. Rain Water Harvesting

                         Due to ongoing water crisis and larger number of family residing in small houses, it was very difficult to fulfill the water need in household use. So, being a researcher in watershed management, Mr. Laxman Shrestha had constructed a very simple yet a very effective way to use the rainwater. We conducted interview to share his noble idea for public use.

Figure. Mentees interviewing Mr. Laxman Shrestha about Rain Water Harvesting 

THE LESSONS

                         Indeed six months mentorship has been great journey of my life. We were able to work on ideas generated by us. We could see transformation on ourselves as well as we felt that our activities made some level of contribution and influence on society. We were lucky enough to travel various parts of Nepal. We made lifetime friends and created memory. Plus we learnt about professionalism, discipline, time management and respect of fellow team member.

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Figure. The TEAM (YOUTH FOR CHANGE NEPAL)

                  I would like to provide note of thanks for Mr. Anil Chitrakar (Mentor), Ms. Shikha Gurung (WWF Nepal) and Mr. Dipesh Gurung (ECCA Nepal). It was pleasure to work with you guys: Anisha Adhikari (MBA), Bina Kharel (MBA), Nabina Gurung (Developmental Study), Senha Shakya (Engineer + MBA), Subina Shrestha (Developmental Study) and Sunwi Maskey (Environmental Study). Cheers!!!

Figure. Team Member Briefing About Project Impacts and Progress

Figure. Closing of Program. Team Member with Amrit Gurung 

Media Coverage: We are glad our work was shared on online (Glocal Khabar) and print (MyRepublica) media. Please follow link for more information.

Glocal Khabar: Old Tire Gardening By Youth For Change Nepal 

My Republica:The Generation Green: Teaching youth about nature, conservation and more

A walk to Remember: Journey to Listhikot VDC (Chang Ching Village)

                     Travel is one of best way to learn things and explore beyond comfort zone. The less travelled road, after major Earthquake Nepal 2015, left Araniko Highway connecting Kodari to Kathmandu sees fewer commuters. After postponing my trip to Listhikot VDC for several times due to roadblock, it was finally decided to pack bag and hit the highway. After 5 hours of bus ride from Old bus park of Kathmandu we reached Barabise around 5:30pm in evening. As heavy and daily rainfall had brought several landslides blocking road access to Listhikot. So we decided to pursue journey following day hoping roadblock will be clear next day.

                  Ironically there was heavy downpour last night, which completely ruined our plan to travel by bus. We planned to go via any vehicle to Nayapool and then hitchhike uphill to Chang Ching (a village among several village of Listhikot VDC). It was early morning so there was less chance of getting any vehicle, as vehicle plying had reduced significantly after closure of Lasha border. We asked lift for every passing vehicle finally our luck turned out, we got lift from a truck-carrying quarry for ongoing hydropower project at Chaku. (Middle Bhotekoshi Hydropower Project) After an hour journey we reached at Nayapool at 7:00 am. We passed through Nayapool, a spot for bungee jumping and other various adventurous activities hosted by The Last Resort.

                       The uphill journey through fallen houses, temporary shelter of people and terrible sheds for animal brought chill on us. It felt like no presence of any authority or government in vicinity. The uphill walk made us so exhausted we had to make several stops and we ran out of water, which made journey more arduous. The steep hill, heat of sun and lack of water made walk difficult. After 3 hours of walk we reached first house of uphill village. We asked for water, owner of house very generously provided clean water (filtered water) for drinking. He expressed his grievances after earthquake, the losses and tragedies he had to go through.

                 Personally I found him quite traumatic and his odd behavior expressed those fear and anxiety. He said still he couldn’t sleep inside his house at night so generally he prefers sleeping in open space at smooth surface in uphill area. There have been repeated landslides, fracturing of land mass and majority of water sprouts around village area have been dried up. We could witness his saying when we roamed around village.

                     After few minutes walk from his house we reached our final destination Chang Ching village. The main aim was to inspect community kitchen made in Buddhist Gumba for approval of budget from government as fellow traveller was appointed as Civil Engineer in charge for re construction and rehabilitation in Listhi VDC. The journey provided very insightful things, difficulties at grass root level and presence of resentment about state. It came to light people are affected more as there is no income as Lasha border is closed as working as seller or vendor and purchasing daily goods for livelihood. Now they do not have proper shelter to live in, jobs to work and are purchasing Indian goods at higher rate.

                   This journey made me realized ground reality of many Nepalese life from ground zero up.

ORGANIC COMPOSTING IN A BIN

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                        Organic waste can be recycled at the household level to produce compost manure. Composting is the most simple and common method for recycling household organic waste. Composting is the process of optimizing the environment in the waste for microbial activity to decompose organic matter into valuable nutrients for the soil. Household composting involves the following three stages: waste preparation, degradation of waste and finishing of waste.

Waste Preparation

                 Waste needs to be sorted and prepared for rapid degradation. This includes the following steps:

                   Mix the waste to ensure that the carbon to nitrogen ratio (C:N) is close to 25:1. If the waste has too much carbon (normally brown waste such as dried leaves, saw dust) it should be mixed with waste that has high nitrogen content (also known as green waste such as kitchen waste). Kitchen waste only normally has a suitable C:N ratio for composting.

                    Chop the waste into small pieces. Large pieces of organic waste should be cut to small pieces to accelerate the composting process. Adjust the moisture content to about 50 per cent. A compost pile with 50% moisture should feel moist but water should not be dripping from it. Add a starter such as mature compost or effective microorganisms (EM) to speed up the composting process.

In-vessel composting

                  Compost can be made in bags or bins. Normally holes are made in the bin or bags to allow aeration. Compost bins can be made from 100 to 200 liter plastic bins or barrels. In order to allow proper aeration, the bin is normally divided into two sections with a grill separating the two sections. Organic waste is put into the top section and allowed to degrade and once the compost is prepared it is removed from the bottom section. Because of the natural draught created in the bin by the grill and the holes, frequent turning of the waste is not required in this method.

 

Why compost organic waste?

To manage the waste problem

                 We know that waste is a huge problem in many cities of developing countries and that organic waste represent almost 80% of the amount of waste. By composting this organic waste, we can help alleviate a large part of the waste management problem.

To produce a new useful and valuable product 

                 Knowing that chemical fertilizers are mining the soil and are not available for every potential client (they are often expensive and not always accessible), we can offer a more accessible product that is eco-friendly available at a stable price.

To reduce Greenhouse gas emissions


            In opposition to uncontrolled anaerobic fermentation of organic waste in landfills, compost and the composting process do not produce methane and therefore do not add any Greenhouse gas to the atmosphere. Methane has a global warming potential 24 times stronger than CO2.

To produce organic fertilizer

                     
The demand for organic food is increasing in Kathmandu valley, but organic farmers experiment a lack of fertilizer, as chemicals can’t be used in organic farming.

NOTE: Writer is no expert this are his experience as part of training on Bio Degradable Solid Waste Management  in Bin. The training was organized by Global Powershift Nepal to as training to trainer.  

Resilient Animal Shelter

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                Livestock has been integral part of Nepalese economy. The rearing of animal is one of major occupation of people and main source of income throughout Nepal. The recent earthquake not only took lives and property of human. It equally killed and displaced thousands of animals. There has been co-ordination, co-operation and action for re-construction of people’s house but less thought is given on condition and re-furnishing of animal shelters. Not only animals related products were jeopardize but also indirect impacts on bio gas plant and organic manure forming was left in limbo.

            The earthquake affected livestock rearing to a great extent. Livestock Farmers suffered considerable loss of livestock, mostly due to collapsed housing structures On the one hand large numbers of livestock perished, and on the other animal shelters and marketing channels were destroyed. Unable to look after the animals while residing in temporary shelters, many people had to abandon their livestock, especially cattle, buffalo, goats, pigs and poultry in areas affected. This problem is particularly acute in area where quake hit badly. The government estimated a loss of 53,369 heads of livestock due to the earthquake. In financial terms, this translates into Rs 14 billion but the Government of Nepal has not allotted a penny to compensate this loss.

Loss of livestock due to Earthquake

Name                                  Numbers

Cattle / Buffalo                  16,484

Goat/sheep/pigs                  36,885

Poultry                                    4, 60,805

               The Post Disaster Needs Assessments (PDNA) indicated a total loss of $284 million in this sector, of which the livestock sub-sector accounted for $101 million.

Our Project

                    The project plans to build cost effective smart cowshed without compromising quality of shed. Then followed by awareness campaign about animal care, sanitation and basic use of veterinary service will be used for capacity building of local considering gender equity.The use of integrated bio-gas plant with toilet waste formation of organic manure followed by organic farming will be encourage as sister program.

The Recovery Strategy

                          Animals continue to live in open space. To ensure a quick recovery, families require support to protect the health and wellbeing of livestock. Without support, these economic losses will be devastating to families who have already in economic shock.

Goal of Project

                The main and only goal of the project is to construct the livestock shed, improve animal welfare condition, control livestock diseases and increased productivity of crop-livestock integrated farming.

Project Activities 

               Resilient Animal Shelter will be launched as a major to livelihoods in Earthquake affected areas of Nepal through livestock and to build up the capacity of the local animal health service providers to work in sustainable manner.

The main objectives of the program are following:

1. Reconstruction/rehabilitation of Livestock infrastructure, such as animal shelters

2. To aware and encourage the farmers about animal welfare.

3. To aware the farmers about balanced feeding for livestock.

4. To aware the farmers about compost manure and organic farming.

5. To aware the farmers about clean and hygienic milk production.

Project Activities

The following activities will be carried out to achieve the objectives of the program.

1. Demonstration and construction of seismic resistance Livestock shed.

2. Veterinary training to promote treatment skills.

3 Coordination meeting with VDC level stakeholders

4. Interaction workshops.

5. Onsite training on clean milk production and compost manure preparation.

Project Location

                   The piloting of project will be done on small locality of Kavre (Chadani Village) in first phase where its efficiency, endurance and benefits will be evaluated and best practice will be replicated in other possible area. Chandeni, it is rural (or semi-urban) and farming / livestock management is still crucial to the local economy. The area was also very heavily affected by the earthquake.

Project Duration

                        The formal involvement in this project will just be for the two months, but embedded into the planning and organization is that the program would be able to continue maintaining sustainability and long term impacts.

FINANCING of Project 

                 The financing of project will be done by crowd funding. The crowd funding page is being currently launched at generosity. 

                   Help out!

 Give to Resilient Animal Shelter

Checking Emissions

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                                 Nepal imports all of its fossil fuel for transportation, Liquid Petroleum gas for cooking and hydrogen fuels for airplanes. The country is also heavily dependent on foreign country for procuring vehicles. There are various stages of emissions generated by vehicles by type of engine they are equipped with, so accordingly they are categorized for rural or urban use. The different countries have different types of emissions standard based on pollution generation and assimilation of same in particular environment. The petrol engine powered vehicles produce less smoke as diesel engine due to some extent of complete combustion.

                            Hulas Motors is sole automobile manufacturing house of Nepal enjoying monopoly in domestic markets. The hulas jeeps being used for off road transportation on rugged and rural terrain may not have significance of emissions as city counterpart do. But there should be certain standard employed to check emission. Mostly vehicles are imported form India, China and rarely few other countries. There are distinction on emission level on both countries. In India Bharat Stage I, II, III, IV, V are emission level attached with chassis of vehicles when they are manufactured. According to population and pollution level of city various stages vehicle are granted permission to operate. The green sticker on vehicle provide status after emission testing whether particular vehicle can run on city or not. The crowded capital city of India: Delhi has strict regulation for such. The use of CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) , electric vehicles are on rise replacing fossil based transportation which is raising grim hope for cleaner & greener city.

                              There will be day once we will completely switch from fossil fuel to clean energy. But at one time giant step is not possible at any cost. The emission is not so much regulated in Nepal. The century old bus, trucks, cars, vans and others are plying on roads sputtering thick smoke and grunting sound. The mandatory green sticker has been game play for acquiring with corruption and connection. There is authority to regulate, look after implementation but they turn blind eye with excuses and blames. The challenges lies on both end of policy executer as well as users. The regulatory bodies should check, verify old vehicles. The replacement of such vehicles is to be done by clean energy powered vehicles. This will be gradual phase of replacing fossil fuel based vehicle once at a time.

                         This will take time but it is only viable solution in present context. There will be complete emission check when we replace all fossil fuel based vehicle with clean energy based. The introduction of e-rickshaw, Safa tempo, electric cars like Mahindra Reva, Tera scooters and many ;such are good gesture to indicate change is coming, slowly and progressively. The government should welcome such initiatives with right supportive policy framework. The conscious level of public is also increasing which will make such project more sustainable with visible impacts. This will help for generation of cleaner, greener and eco-friendly Nepal.

Photo Source: www.tandbmotors.com

First Ever Facebook Developers Meet up Kathmandu

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                         April 3, 2016 #fbDevKTM is first ever meet of Facebook developers at innovation hub, Teku. The meet up highlighted about Facebook not only merely a social networking platform but beyond. The Facebook has hidden arena still left for exploring especially on country like Nepal. The developers meet was to break myth and propel better contribution, networking among Facebook enthusiasts for development of better user platform.There were four sessions as below:

Session 1 – Facebook and Social Plugins

Session 2 – Open Graph API

Session 3 – Facebook Start up

Session 4 – Facebook as Marketing

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Session 1 – Facebook and Social Plugins

                 The sessions discussed about what is Facebook and types of social plugins used. The basic plugins are:

  • Like, share and send

  • Comments

    • Moderation

    • By app (Preferred)

    • By Defining (Moderators Profile)

  • Page plugin

  • Follow Button

Session 2 – Open Graph API

                   The sessions was about open graph API (Application Program Interface). The basic discussion was based on how to use open graph API. The use of query data, post status and stories and others. The terms like nodes (everything such as users, photo), Edges(Connections between things) and fields(info about those things).

Requirement

Access Token

Get Facebook login or one’s SDK’s

Getting Familiar with Graph API explorer’s

Session 3 – Facebook Start up

                         The session was about using Facebook as for promotion of startup. The sessions discussed about making and using services provided by Facebook for business potential. The following can be learnt from following sites:

Fb Start.com

Types of Track program:

Pre Launch Track

Boot Suite Track

Accelerator Track

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Session 4 – Facebook as Marketing

                 The session provided details about how can we use Facebook for marketing and advertisement. The Facebook is effective proven tools for marketing. The various tools, hours for posting advertisement, dos and donts were discussed.