Pani Ghatta – Water Mills

PPvQVzQ                 

               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

waste-tire-and-innovation

                   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

Himalaya & Sun

 4

                     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.

1

The Old Tire Gardening Project : A shift in Trend

12784663_10201255371741658_500999950_n

                         Ratna Rajya Higher Secondary school, located in midst of new and old Baneshwor is changing its chaotic environment with plants planted on beautified tires. The school humming with students all over its complex, also housing many temples within premises was perfect location to show case our initiative, so that public could see and learn values of old tires. This was planned as per proposal submission and earlier site visits so we could increase our reach to greater mass.

                                  This was last chance to showcase our activities of old tire gardening and awareness initiative as men-tees and maiden within Kathmandu valley. We were always trying to do things differently. As we matured as professional in tire gardening, side wise we wanted to train youths form school so we requested four volunteers from school which principal mam accepted graciously. We managed to include four volunteers with equal male and female participation. The major task to include volunteers was to train, nurture and give them hands on learning so they will be able to implement similar concept in other location in future and will help in sustainability of project in school.

                                    The tires were carried from Balaju area to Baneshwor. The team lead for this project was done by Bina Kharel. The space constrained pushed us to reduce tire to twenty five. The event started with as usual by washing of tire, drying them up. In between we went for plants in nearby nursery. As we had restriction of mud so we had to purchase to fill old tire vase.

                                 Once tire were dried, they were painted by team member as well as volunteers. At later hours, the event was attended by Mr. Dipesh Gurung form ECCA Nepal. The event was co-ordinated and effectively handled by all team mates. We really took lead, connected dots and came as single one who were desperately trying to generate values out of waste. On parallel event with tire gardening Subina (Our Team Lead) gave well articulated presentation which was hugely praised by great round of applause. Finally it was a day well spent by all members.

Yarcha Gumba : A conflict within itself

5ac0b5f2-8003-43ce-a765-22d1f420d311

     Yarcha Gumba

                        Yarcha Gumba which is half insect and half plant found on meadows above 3500m is a rare medicinal herb that grows in Nepal. The collection of herb was legalized in 2058 B.S (2001 A.D) Generally season for collection of herbs begin around may after melting of snow which usually last for two months.

Use

     Believe to be Chinese ancestor medicine discovered around 15th century. Similar to discovery of coffee, once eaten by goat and getting stimulated, yak grazed on meadows got stronger and people came to know about existence of herbs.

Collection

  • Located on ‘Patan or Lak'(local language for hills and meadows)
  • Locally called Kira, Jeevan buti, Cheyou
  • Found on high altitude, tough job to extract with high vision power to detect
  • Uncertain trail and lack of proper path
  • No time to set up camp as collection starts from early morning to late morning
  • Uncertain weather like snowfall, landslide, heavy downpour
  • Risk of damages on herbs as it leads to significant decrement on price
Collection of Yarcha at Lek

   Collection of Yarcha at Lek

Collector

  • Every employee and student around region join the expedition
  • Different age group people children, adult, old folks
  • Many small, medium and large business man along with middle man come for buying and transporting herbs
  • Not only collector, businessman but entertainer, facilitator, small shop install, portable shop operate with full swing

Adversity during collection

            Risk                                                                           Crime

  • Lek (Altitude Sickness)                               – Attacks Among Self
  • Coldness                                                           – Loots
  • Falling off from cliff                                      – Cartel
  • Avalanche                                                         – Misuse
  • Landslides

Market : Main market is China

Social Issues

  • Sustainability : The collection is random and mis-managed so in long-term more exploitation will lead to extinction of herb.
  • Solid waste Management: The collectors used fast food for daily food and throw plastic bags around meadows. The human waste and temporary living can cause significant accumulation of solid waste in region.
  • Leaving Cultivation : People have given up their traditional cultivation and entirely relying on herb collection for income generation. Dependency of people on collection has increased while it is bringing end to traditional locally available jobs.
  • Maintenance of Life cycle of herbs: There is no any proper records or survey regarding status and conservation of herbs. How can we protect it from over encroachment by people and how its life cycle be promoted.

Positive Impacts

  • Employment: Collection, transportation and selling has been seasonal jobs for local people during seasons but they are giving up their jobs and entirely relying on collection for whole year budget management.
  • Increase in Life Standard: The cash flow has significantly improved living standard of people but raised alarm about sustainability of life. There is major challenge life is only better till there is herb in meadows.
  • Development of Local Area: Obviously local area has been developed. Better access to road, health, education e.t.c can be seen.

Negative Impacts

  • Self Grading: There is no proper regulatory body for grading of herbs. Self grading is helping middle man so local people are not actually not getting pay how much they actually have to get.
  • Collectors not actual receiver of benefits: The local people get significantly less money than other businessman involve in this sectors.
  • Environmental impacts no study: There is no proper environmental survey regarding growth ,impact, availability and life cycle of herbs.
  • No Accountability: There is no documentation regarding collection, distribution and use of herbs.

Suggestions:

  • Shifting Collection: The areas should be separated every year so we can give chance to grow herbs in particular areas. This will help to preserve environmental aspects that herbs play for ecological diversity.
  • Artificial Culture: Conducting scientific research so we can artificially culture herbs for commercial use.
  • Confirmation of Use: Use of yarcha gumba is still vague so proper study should be done so we can take it as commercial herbs.
  • Limitation of collection: We should restrict and make possibility of only collection on limited amount.

    Image source : HimaliSanchar