Moving Mountains in Nepal
The project I ran in Nepal has been over the last twenty five years and is still ongoing, I would regard it more as a life’s work which has developed organically rather than a project. It started with hydro electric power and rebuilding monasteries after the end of the Maoist conflict in the mid 2000s. After providing power we then installed machinery to grind corn so the village could create a cottage industry around selling flour locally. We set the village up as a co-operative and provided employment for bakers and hydro technicians. We then started bit by bit to supply water into each hamlet and each house as much as possible. This is still on-going, there are hundreds of houses across a whole valley and each batch of 30 houses or so takes 6 months and about £5000.00 which I supply through my adventure travel profits and from donations to my charity Moving Mountains.
At the same time as installing water we also installed improved cooking stoves into the houses and at the same time back boilers to provide hot water in the home. Each cooking stove uses 60% less firewood than an open fire and costs around £200.00.
Over the same period we also built three schools, a clinic and a community centre. The upshot of providing power, water and a clean air in the home because of the enclosed stoves has meant that we now have around 600 children in school and able to do their homework by light in the evening, keep clean with hot water and the rate of respiratory infections has dropped to almost zero because we employ nurses in the clinic who run community educational events around health living in the home. In all, it’s a holistic approach to an entire region which has seen all the villages in the area become an attraction for new families who understand the quality of life is better there than in the city.