RMP recently conducted an assessment trip to collect design-level data for a future project in Ilam, Nepal. 

Surveying with our local partners for a spring source project at a school in Godak, a rural community about an hour from Ilam, Nepal.

Surveying with our local partners for a spring source project at a school in Godak, a rural community about an hour from Ilam, Nepal.

The team spent a large amount of their time collecting topographic survey data at multiple sites, including three different springs at Chiyabari , Peepal's Dhara, and a spring in the nearby community of Godak that would supply a new school. Given the extreme topography of Nepal, the surveys were often extremely challenging to actually conduct! Accessing some sites meant a significant amount of hiking. This is particularly true for the community of Godak: the spring that the school has identified is over a mile away from the school building!  Additional data collected included baseline water quality, water flow rates and assessment of constructability. The team investigated the condition of any existing infrastructure and made observations on the number of potential households impacted by each project. 

RMP members Doug DeVoto and Jonny Ernster collect topographic survey data at spring located about a mile away from the Godak school. The team faced challenging surveying conditions, including remote locations, steep slopes, and monsoon weather! 

RMP members Doug DeVoto and Jonny Ernster collect topographic survey data at spring located about a mile away from the Godak school. The team faced challenging surveying conditions, including remote locations, steep slopes, and monsoon weather! 

Rice patties along the hike to the potential spring source about a mile away from Godak school. Remote project sites certainly have their own benefits!

Rice patties along the hike to the potential spring source about a mile away from Godak school. Remote project sites certainly have their own benefits!

The team had many meetings with spring users to discuss the scope of the project needs and to better understand the urgency of the different projects. Through these meetings it was determined that the Godak School Water Distribution Project should be considered for further assessment. The Godak site is a very large system and will involve a spring catchment, a mile-long distribution system, and potentially a water treatment system at the school. Fortunately, RMP is exploring the option of partnering with the CU-Boulder EWB Student Chapter, which also works in the Ilam area. Partnering with CU-Boulder would break this large project into stages, with each chapter taking responsibility for one of the major design components.  

Construction site for the new school at Godak.

Construction site for the new school at Godak.

Meeting with users for a potential project constructing a spring at Chiyabari. 

Meeting with users for a potential project constructing a spring at Chiyabari. 

Perhaps most importantly, every RMP trip affords opportunities to strengthen our relationship with the local community and our partner NGO. With every trip, RMP develops a stronger understanding of the needs of this community and how we can support their goals with sustainable engineering solutions. Individual members get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet new friends from a very remote corner of the world.

Comment