Pani Ghatta – Water Mills

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               Himalaya are boon and curse. These are the mountains that’s helps to tranquil our soul and assemble our hopes in solitude. The same mountains stand tall to hinder the progress to modern development and technology. The mighty rivers starts as rivulet in lap of these mountains. The kinetic energy of falling river among the slopes are used to harness power to grind grains to empower human body. The conservation of energy works perfectly fine satisfying scientific society of rich nation who want’s to keep nature pure and make big shout out for being agrarian while doing so.  

              These turning machine are popularly known as Pani Ghatta a.k.a water mills. The water mills are very popular across Himalayas, as it is only reliable machine to grind grain for people living across the regions. The water mills is not limited to Nepal but you can see across stretch of hills of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tibet, and Bhutan. Traditionally limited to grinding, now many are modified to generate electricity for local use.

Construction:

          The water is diverted from the main stream via open or closed duct towards the turbine placed on lower section of mill house. The turbine used to be made of wood, but majority of wooden turbines are replaced with metallic as improved water mills these days. The vertical shaft connected to turbine on the floor of mill house runs, and turns the upper section of stone. The lower section is stationary, and grains stored in wooden settings above the stone drops grains through hole in upper stone to lower stone via feeder mechanism, and then grains are grinded in between the stones.

Improved Water Mills (IMW)- New Name for Modern era

                         Improved water mills is one of the clean technologies promoted by government of Nepal with many other stakeholders. Nepal has about 25,000 traditional water mills scattered throughout the country. 6,500 of them already have been converted to IMW. Replacement of wooden parts (rotor and shaft) with metallic parts is the main improvement made in the technology. The technology can also generate electricity up to 3 kW, sufficient for lighting as well as for operating small electric and electronic home appliances.

Advantages of IWM

Employment :The installation, advocacy, operation, maintenance and promotion of IMW will create lot of opportunities at national and local level employing skilled as well as unskilled labor.

Income Level :It helps to improve income of mill owner as well as user. It helps to increase living standard of local people.

Boosting the local Economy : The water mill will remove drudgery of traditional grinding. It will save time which people can invest in income generating activities like animal husbandry, agriculture, and others. People will get familiar to new technology and electronic devices which is powered by electricity from water mill.

Gender Mainstreaming and Social Inclusion: Water mills helps to reduce stress of grinding grains for women. Traditionally grinding was done manually by women. This replaces huge burden on women. The mills will be melting point for women to socialize and get connected to each other. It helps to remove social evils like un-touch-ability, status quo and others.  

Environmental Impacts :The IWM is powered by gravity-driven water, a renewable source of energy, which essentially does not produce air pollution or sound pollution. Therefore, the technology is environmentally sound and acceptable.

Sources:

  1. http://www.aepc.gov.np/old/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=66&Itemid=108
  2. http://www.inforse.org/asia/pdf/Pub_Nepal%20water%20mill_2014.pdf
  3. http://www.dw.com/en/nepal-efficient-water-mills-produce-electricity/av-15950902
  4. http://alumni.media.mit.edu/~nathan/nepal/ghatta/ghattas.html

Image Source: http://nepalitimes.com/article/nation/Flour-power

 

 

WASTE TIRES AND INNOVATION

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                   Figure. Creative use of Waste Tire by TGG Mentees Batch -II under Mentor                                                                    Anil Chitrakar 

                           Ever wondered about the tires which are no longer roadworthy after they are used? They are stockpiled, dumped in landfills, or just thrown away on roadsides. This linear product use approach results in a massive waste.

              Tires, whether it is electric, solar powered, gasoline, or hydrogen fueled vehicle, are indispensable components for the transportation industry. Scrap tires have potential to harm local environments and negatively affect human health. The most common problems associated with waste tires are open air fires and the creation of breeding ground for rodents and mosquitoes. It’s bad but it’s a fact. According to The Freedonia Group Report it is estimated that the world demand for tires is forecast to rise 4.7 percent per year through 2015 to 3.3 billion units, approximately same amount of tires are disposed of every year and almost 20% of them are illegally dumped in landfills, or just thrown away on roadsides.

              Is this the end of the story? No, a these approaches can ultimately lead towards right environmental choice and would also make good financial sense.

Circular Economy

              The alternative to the growing waste concerns is to develop a circular economy which goes much further than recycling and there is a strong business case for development. Building recycling industries to recover, recycle and process the waste tires – with the focus on the reduce and reuse principles, unemployed people can find gainful employment, SMEs can be developed and, the environmental disaster that waste tires represent can be economically and effectively addressed. Analysis by McKinsey estimates that shifting in this direction of circular economy model could add $1-trillion to the global economy by 2025 and create 100 000 new jobs within the next five years. It’s worth it!

Energy

              A normal used passenger car tire weighs 7.2 kg; it contains at least 238 MJ of thermal energy, which can be useful in some dedicated facilities. In thermoelectric plants, tires are fed into the hearth without any pre-treatment or slicing. This process is an economically viable alternative for used tires that cannot be effectively retreaded, generating a large amount of by-products. Each ton of input (as tires) generates 287 kg of solid residue made of zinc oxide, ferrous slag and gypsum, each with a well-defined market. The use of old tires as fuel has the advantage that it does not generate any waste beyond what is usually generated by a standard cement production process. Sliced tires can be fed into the kiln with the other raw materials. The energy in the rubber provides the heat while the combustion residues are incorporated in the cement without compromising the product’s quality. The ferrous material from the steel wire partially substitutes the large quantities of iron ore used in cement production. Several fuels are used in a cement plants including coal, natural gas and oil. The rubber may provide roughly 20% of the heat required in the kiln, generally at a lower cost than the other fuels. The high temperature of combustion, around 1400°C, under appropriate supply of oxygen, ensures complete burnout of the organic material.

Construction Applications

              Rubberized asphalt is an alternative to traditional paving material that combines the strength and versatility of asphalt and the longevity and flexibility of recycled rubber. Derived from scrap tires, the material is said to be longer lasting, safer, less costly and friendlier to the environment than traditional paving materials.

              Scrap tires can be processed into ground rubber to modify asphalt thereby creating rubberized asphalt and rubber asphalt concrete. Asphalt companies buy large quantities of shredded rubber crumbs to mix with their hot melt asphalt to make pavements cheaper. Other road construction companies purchase large quantities of medium sized shredder tires to use in road beds for minimizing vibrations and for highway sound barriers. Rubberized asphalt is not just sustainable, but actually better than the traditional alternative, better in every way.

              Old tires can be used in barriers such as collision reduction, erosion control, rainwater runoff, wave action that protects piers and marshes. With a blend of art and engineering, the civil engineering applications of waste tires are emerging.

Re-Purpose

              We can use old tires in child’s play areas. They’re great for setting up an obstacle course or making a sandbox or a tire swing. Tire mulch is also sold as padding for children’s playground. We can make soles for shoes or even entire pairs of flip-flops. We can make livestock feeders or pet house out of old tires. Used tires can be transformed into furniture with a little pie of skill and imagination. Since tires are black and they retain the heat from the sun easily, you can use them in your garden for growing your plants earlier. Basically, you can grow plants and veggies in tires earlier than in the ground. This trick works great with those species that require more warmth. You can make an outdoor storage bin using old tires secured together with some plywood and painted in your favorite color. Old tires can be transformed into a cool coffee table or other cool pieces of furniture. Just dive, there’s a world of thing you can do. Re- think!              

              It has been years since we dumped the opportunities for business through valuation of the waste. But, an era is evolving to turn the wastes in every bin into something really spectacular and create value. It is a new shift in the resource management approach, a transition to the unexplored territory and it provides battle against the traditional inertia of waste management. This is the way towards sustainable economies and eco-innovation, and can drive development across the board. This benefits all of us.

About the authors:

Bipin Karki is a graduate student of Renewable and Clean Energy at University of Dayton, and Former TGG Mentee at WWF Nepal (carried out project to reuse tires). He can be reached at bpn_krk@hotmail.com

Bishnu Parajuli is a undergraduate student of Industrial Engineering at Institute of Engineering, Thapathali Campus and the President of Society of Industrial Engineering Students – Nepal. He can be reached bishnu.parajuli13@gmail.com.

As Published in : http://www.sajhapost.com/2017/01/11/58081.html

Scribbled Words : When Words Matter

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                                                  There is no starting point or ending point. They say love is paradox, is it. You don’t truly know how it happens, and why it happens. Traditionally people describe with character of hyper happiness like you may laugh for no reasons, start singing, feel satisfaction and millions other reasons. Nevertheless, it might be best feeling for everyone on contrary if you can feel it. People define love in zillion ways. I am no poet to write poem on it, no writer to write a novel on it, no singer to sing a song, I am just layman who scribbles and stumbles on words.

                                 For me it is something which gives strength, a hope that better days with better person will come, a companionship to rely upon and a shoulder to cry upon. Is this what all think? I wonder how people make promise to bring star even when they cannot behold rolling tears. Its irony people do not value to word, just mere forsaken word and false hope. It’s hard to imagine world without pain and sorrow, how good it would have been to see all people happy and satisfied. But reality is different the world is not always sunshine or nasty place, it’s like two sides of coin light and darkness. For being in relation is about ignoring darkness of people and seeing brighter part. It’s not about finding reason to quit rather searching reasons to stick in. You never know what comes ahead, so enjoy your present with whom you are. It’s easy to see dark in light but hard to find light on dark.

                          Your choice is all you have got. At some time at some point you need to have guts to believe in something whether it’s your intuition or Karma or any and trust you are on right path.  At first everything is uncertain…when you carry on…dots get connected…..

Photo Source:All Things Fadra.com

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.

War of Words : A Fire within

                           Not everything is supposed to become beautiful and long-lasting. When things go wrong and when people turn against you and walk away without any reason, it has nothing to do with you. It is because they have already served their purpose in your life, they’ll only hinder you in your next level. Not everyone is going to stay forever in your life. So, thank them for what they have given you, let them go and keep moving. Greater things are yet to come.

                         Now, I know everything in life happens for a reason. I try to help everyone around me and care about them. I help them without any strings attached. I help because I know what it feels like without getting help. I know how it feels like to speak and not be heard. I know the value of everything in life. Everything surely happens for a reason. You might not realize it today, but you’ll surely understand it one day. Just wait for that day and keep moving.

                             Some take me as granted, some fake to make things but I help them tirelessly. Not expecting rewards or recognition but feeling sense of joy bringing happiness on them. I feel being used but I prefer to take it in other way being useful standing out for them in the crowds. Holding them when world betrayed and left in desolation. I often wonder if there is someone behind me who cares me, wonders what make this person happy. I can just speculate.

Date: 22/03/2016

Community Built by Community : A story from Pharping

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                   A community outskirts of Kathmandu valley with slight uphill and downhill bumpy roads gets connected to capital proudly exhibits its communal innovations and ownership. A model town recently turned into municipality encompasses sense of oneness, co-operation, mutual benefits and desperate need to catch up with development. The traditionally Newari town is slowly accepting all kinds of caste’s along with burgeoning Buddhist among hillside periphery is truly reflected with chants and bustling monks. Slowly and steadily globalization is engulfing life and people want to see changes within their tenure. The local leaders, developmental workers, intellectuals, social workers share their story with us, the locality they envisioned, the hardship they fought for to bring such beauty and changes in town and challenges for further.

                              TUDE (Tourism Development Endeavor) a parent organization nurturing “ I am power shifter” campaign for Global Power Shift Nepal (a initiative supported by 350.org) helps to break glass between power shifter and local experts. The venue which witnessed this conversation was none other than “ A school for community” Sheshnarayan – 4, Pharping. We were so glad to hear and share our cause. The struggle, contribution and changes made by Niraj Shrestha (Developmental worker and Principal of School) and Sashi Sharma Aryal (Former Principal, V.D.C Secretary and Local Developmental expert) really inspired us. We were glad that we would also contribute to some extent in community to lead it as model community.

                                       We took tour around community school, community hospital and community centre named Shikharpur Sustainable Farmers School. The community farmer school was real piece of innovation and triggered me so much as it was build out of alcohol bottles left around Dakisnkali temple premises. The bottles were used as bricks mixed with locally available mud (mud + hays mix). The roof was covered by locally available hays. The centre was built by foreigners and local people’s active participation as farmers school. The various skill generating trainings are conducted periodically in house to empower local community and plant seed for socio-economic improvement of locals. The resource centre itself includes creative and innovative ways for solid waste management area, ground water recharge system and organic farming. The farmers school excited our hopes and enthusiasm.

                            We roamed around city peering through various Newar communities settlement, temples, stupas and playing grounds. Finally leading to holy shrine of Dakinsinkali, what intrigued us was how improperly solid waste were squandered without thinking environmental degradation, lets forget about how much values could be generated. The stinking, sharp smell caught our nose. We had no choice except to cover our mouths, mentally we thought solution for them.

                                              This was reason why power shifter were on town. We had planned to make random sampling about waste management of underprivileged village where it will be harbinger of change and generate values out of waste. As per discussion with rural experts in Chautari of KOPU (a most back ward village on ward no 6 of Daisnkali Municipality) was the location where power would to shift. As early morning downhill with Mr. Sharma took us to Chautari discussion and random list of 25 houses were selected for survey with local participation. The data are under review, soon power shifter team will be moving to Pharping for actual power shift i.e managing and equipping local who will be good enough to handle local waste for environmental, social and economic values.

My Learning:

  • To work as individual and team member motivating, leading and following

  • To interact with experts, team’s and local people

  • To brief, update and channelize team vision

  • To travel (see, believe, learn and share )

  • To make deep imprint on canvass of my memory of place, people food as a whole to change mindset

Photo Credit: Sanjay