Nepal - Community Infrastructure

Creating systems that work in rural communities is essential for their ongoing livelihood and survival. Adara works with the community in Humla, a remote region of Nepal, to strengthen key areas of infrastructure with sustainable long-term solutions.

ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGY

Our goal in working with the Humli community has been to improve basic community infrastructure, such as cooking technology, access to clean drinking water, pit latrines, greenhouses, solar lights, micro-hydro and driers. The basic state of infrastructure has led to various serious health problems for the community:

  • Historically, given Humla's remoteness, most families have survived using resinous wood to light fires in their homes for warmth, lighting and cooking - this has led to high rates of respiratory and eye infections.
  • The community has accessed water from running streams with high bacterial content, which has led to many communicable diseases.
  • The growing period in this mountainous region is only four months of the year, and so families have to often live without food in the harsh winter months - this has caused malnutrition.

These infrastructure improvements have led to dramatic changes for the people of Humla.

SOLAR LIGHTING AND SMOKELESS STOVES
  • Adara has seen positive results from our work over recent years. The combination of solar lighting systems and smokeless stoves has dramatically reduced indoor air pollution, as measured by the amount of particulate matter inside homes. It has also contributed to the decreasing rates of respiratory disease symptoms in the residents.

GREENHOUSES
  • Greenhouses have been built and are in use growing nutrient rich vegetables. These supplement villagers' diets even in the cold months of the year, when their meals have traditionally lacked fresh vegetables. Solar driers have been installed and are used to dry foods. Thus food can be stored for longer periods without going off, which helps to ensure food security.

    Improved nutrition has resulted in lower levels of malnutrition in children. We are continuously improving design of these technologies with the local community so their needs are regularly met.

PIT LATRINES, HYGIENE AWARENESS AND CLEAN WATER
  • Hundreds of villagers have received training on the importance of maintaining and using a clean water supply and hygienic toileting technique. With the villagers, we have built pit latrines that have improved their quality of life and enhanced their understanding of healthy living.

MICRO-HYDRO SYSTEMS
  • In 2011, ADARA worked closely with the community to improve electricity supply to some villages in Humla through micro-hydro power systems. Water is a huge natural resource there, and the community needs have now grown beyond the capacity of solar lighting. Micro-hydro systems will provide a consistent supply of power directly to village homes for years to come. These will also convert manual grist mills, used to grind grain to flour, into micro-hydro-powered ones, and this will give a massive boost to food supply.

  • 28 pit latrines were installed or repaired in 4 Humla villages in 2013

  • Seeds for fresh vegetables were distributed to 327 farmers in Humla in 2013 to grow in greenhouses

  • Three drinking water systems are in progress

  • Over 1000 pit latrines have been installed in Humla

  • Over 1000 smokeless stoves have been subsidised for homes in Humla

  • 664 solar lighting systems installed in Humla

  • 5 safe drinking water systems installed to benefit more than 400 households.

  • 59 greenhouses were installed in Humla in 2013

  • 32 solar driers were installed in Humla villages in 2013