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Infrastructure

Mission Statement

To assist in the development and implementation of infrastructure projects which contribute to health, economic development and quality of life. This is facilitated by offering skilled engineering assistance, project funds, components and tools where necessary.

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Ashari Village Water Project

Ashari, a village of 80 houses and a population of about 300 people is situated south east of Okhle and is reached after about 1 hours walk, passing through Rbaje village on route. Ashari has numerous tapstands but water shortages has led to rationing whereby if a tap is closed,,villagers are faced with a 15 to 20 minute walk to collect their water, During the monsoon they are unable to use the bottom stream because the water becomes too dirty. The aim of the project at Ashari was to dig back to the source of the lowest spring where the water is of better quality and feed the water into a tank which would supply the villager all year round. In 2012 the trust paid for water to be piped across the valley to Ashari Primary School. A further part of the project at Ashari is to construct a new tank at the Primary School to store water and alleviate the demand on the tapstand currently used to pipe water across the valley.The project was started in February 2013 and should be completed by the end of May 2013. The project, costing around £1500 was jointly funded by RWE Companius and Okhle Village Trust. During a visit to Ashari in November 2013, we saw that the villagers had constructed a 14,000 litre rectangular tank which was fed with water from 2 springs with pipes to the tank that could be regularted depending on the abundance of the springs. On one side of the tank are 3 taps with a sizeable area where the villagers can either wash pots and clothes or collect water. The springs have historically flowed all the year round and provide a reliable supply of water. The visit in 2013 also revealed that a small concrete tank had been built next to the school. Water from a source across the valley now provides drinking water for the school and services their toilets.

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Baspani Village Water Project

Baspani is a village with 55 houses and a population of 265 villagers. Due to leaking taps and water tank, a shortage of water has been a problem for some time, particularly in the dry season. Their water source is a spring high up in the forest at a similar height and about 200 metres distant from one of the springs supplying Raile Village. The villagers have built a distribution chamber close to the spring and have laid approximately 2.5 kilometres of pipeline which contour through the steep slopes of the forest, before crossing a col and descending to the village. The water feeds into a 30,000 litre tank before being distributed to 7 tapstands throughout the village. Work started on the project in April 2016 and was completed in September 2016. Considering the difficulty of the work involved, this was a wonderful achievement on the part of the villagers The project which cost £5,000 was jointly funded by Casterbridge, Poundbury and Portland Rotary Groups and Richard Brind and Mark Townsend representing the Clubs, cut the ribbon at the Opening Ceremony.

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Gahateri Village Water Project

Gahateri, a village of 51 houses and a population of approximately 250 people, is situated 2 miles east along the ridge from Okhle Village. The project involved replacing an old leaking water tank and laying 500m of new pipework to 3 tapstands in the village. The work was started in December 2012 and completed by the end of February 2013 with total project costs of £1500. Casterbridge and Rennes du Guesclin Rotary clubs funded the Gahateri tank, completed 2013.

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Ghaleguan Water Project

Ghaleguan,, a village of 24 houses and 160 people is situated on the northern side of the ridge, approximately half an hour's walk from Okhle and Raipali. Although a Hong Kong businessman paid for the installation of a sophisticated Italian electric pump to supply water to the village, the storage tank has only a 6,000 litre capacity, which results in water shortages in the dry season between January and April. The storage tank supplies 5 standtaps. There is also , however, a spring above the village and the villagers would like to build a 30,000 litre rectangular tank approximately 50 metres below the spring which would supply water to a new standtap by the Community Centre.The Community Centre is centrally located in the village and water would be available all the year round. The cost of the project would be in the region of £1500 and the Trust would hope to raise the necessary funds in 2014 and see the project completed in 2014.

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Kot Guan Community Centre

The centre of the village of Kot Guan lies on a small south facing level terrace behind a local peak in the ridgeline with the rest of the village and farming terraces spreading down the slopes. Kot Guan had never had a sheltered community meeting place and through the community meetings regarding the water project a community centre for the village emerged as a high development priority. In 2011, Okhle Village Trust was supported by two members of the Gifford (now Ramboll) engineering team, Jessica Robinson and Hayley Maxwell who looked at 3 possible sites for the Community Centre to be built at Kot Guan. In discussions with the local community it was decided that the community centre should include toilet facilities and rainwater harvesting if the budget permitted. Jessica and Hayley produced a range of designs to suit different budgets based on the style of local architecture but including a number of structural improvements. Funding for the Kot Guan Community centre was received from Ramboll in December 2012 . Work got quickly underway and the building was completed in July 2013.The Community Centre consists of a large meeting room with tables and chairs and a small storeroom for the storage of tools and other communal equipment. The roof is made of corrugated metal sheets but 2 perspex panels on the southern elevation together with white painted walls give the main room a good level of ambient light. There is a 1 metre wide verandah on the south side of the building typical of Nepalese architecture in this region which acts as a sociable gathering point with protection from the weather. A 20,000 litre water tank has been built on the west side of the Community Centre so that water can be harvested from the roof. The water collected in the tank will service the toilet adjacent to the tank and also feeds surplus water into the main water supply. In November 2013 the rain water harvesting system was not entirely completed but funding to complete this part of the project was provided by Alison Brind.

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Kot Guan Water Project

Kot Guan lies in a cluster of small villages in the Mahabharat Hills of Nepal, north east of the capital Kathmandu. Centred on a small level plateau near the ridge line of the valley, the village extends down the steep terraced hillside that the villagers farm. Historically, the villagers of Kot Guan have had a choice of two natural springs from which to draw their water neither of which are easily accessible. One spring lies up to 100m vertically below the village for the highest houses and is shared with another village; the second lies approximately 800m from the village 40 vertical metres up and over a col on the north side of the ridge. Depending on the location of their houses, the villagers use both springs to draw their water. Whichever spring they use, the round trip to collect 15-25 litres of water involves a steep descent and ascent and takes around an hour. As the lower spring is shared it would not have been socially acceptable to the other community to install any kind of pump as this could lead to difficult situations should the water levels run low.It was therefore preferable to bring water to Kot Guan from the higher spring on the north side of the ridge line. The north side of the col from Kot Guan is treacherously steep and in many places it is not possible for two people to pass on the narrow path contouring the slope. Being on the north side of the ridge the sun does not shine on this slope and the stones are frequently wet making working and transporting any equipment difficult. A group from Okhle Village Trust looked at the potential of installing an electrical pump at the higher spring in 2007 and running a pipe to a large storage tank above Kot Guan from which the water could be gravity fed to tapstands in the village. At this stage the vegetation around the spring was cut back, a small water collecting pool formed in the rock face and a pipe inserted to gauge the water flow rate. At the time (November – mid dry season) the spring was yielding approximately two litres per minute of clear water. In 2008, Okhle Village Trust was supported by two engineers from Gifford Ltd. who carried out detailed survey of Kot Guan and the pipe route from the higher spring to the village. This survey yielded the necessary information for Okhle Village Trust to design the water supply system.It was not until 2010, when electricity from a hydroelectric power station in the valley was supplied to Kot Guan, that Okhle Village Trust had the necessary financial resources to realise the project. The outline design of the water supply system was to install a 2000L plastic tank at the spring to collect water, avoiding the need to carry construction materials around the difficult path to the spring. A submersible pump installed in the tank with a float switch would then pump the water 400m along and up 40 vertical metres to the col where either a breather tank or an air release valve would be used to release air from the system. A further 400m length of pipe descending just under 40 vertical metres would take the water down to a 20,000 litre tank above the village. A further distribution system would then spread down the hillside, serving the village centre and outlying houses with a total of 4 tap stands. In 2011 a group from Okhle Village Trust including students from Wey Valley School and SportsCollege and a water engineer went to Nepal to begin construction of the water supply system at Kot Guan. There is no vehicular access to Kot Guan and hence all materials had to be carried the final kilometre to the village on foot. Whilst the group were working with the villagers at Kot Guan the 800m of trench required for the pipe and electrical cable from the village to the pump was started, the loose material around the spring was excavated to capture more water and the necessary materials for the project were sourced. Much of this work was done on extremely steep and unstable slopes with trenching in some placed through solid rock. It required a huge effort from the villagers, especially at a time of year when they were also harvesting their crops. Whenever they were not employed on their farmland, the men, women and children of Kot Guan were on site helping with the water project, a humbling demonstration of its value to the community. As a gift to the local school children, the group from Wey Valley School and Sports College donated 70 blue school shirts to the children of Kot Guan. Manual ground work continued for several months during early 2012 as the terrain would not permit the use of powered machinery, even if it were available. Okhle Village Trust employed a Nepalese electrical engineer on a part-time basis to oversee the ongoing construction of the project in 2012 and to install and commission the pump. Towards the end of 2012 the pump was commissioned and water was pumped for the first time into Kot Guan village. The approximate cost of the Kot Guan water project was £5000.

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Lower Bayapani Village Water Project

Lower Bayapani is a village of 33 houses and a population of about 150 villagers. The village sufferes from severe water shortage, particularly in the dry season. The Trust first visited the village in 2014 and were told that the village hoped to access water from a spring about 1200 metres away. The plan was to contour water through a pipe around 2 spurs and 2 reentrants to a lower tank from where water would be pumped up to a header tank about 45 vertical metres higher up in the village. From this tank water would be supplied to 5 tapstands throughout the village. The link from the pump to the electrical power transformer was no more than 150 metres The Trust is most grateful to Dan Nord, Bill Ferris and their fellow Americans for funding this project at a cost of over £5000. This was an extremely difficult project to both manage and work on and Bimal and the villagers are to be congratulated on bringing it to a successful conclusion. The project was completed in March 2016.

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Madkina Water Project

Madkina lies to the South West of Kot Guan, a walk of approximately 20 minutes and is a village of some 26 houses with a population of 130 people. There have one source of water, which is a spring situated 300 metres above the cluster of houses. The water supply from this spring is sufficient in the monsoon season but problems occur between January and April and the villagers have to get their water from another spring to the north of a village called Chahara. To get to the spring in Chahara villagers of Madkina have to walk 300m distance and 37m descent to a shared source (no charge as they have the right of access) in the dry season, but the round trip can take up to an hour and the spring has a low flow rate. The villagers would like to increase their water storage capacity to allow the water from the spring above their village to be collected and rationed after the monsoon. The planned 30,000L tank would fill in the monsoon and would be sufficient to keep the village in water all year round. The infrastructure required is only a tank with a tapstand and minimal piping. The projected costs of this project are £1500. Madkina was funded by Portland Rotary club and Richard and Angela White, completed 2014 In 2014 the Trust agreed to fund the construction of 3 more standtaps at Madkina at a cost of £1200.

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Okhle Village Public Toilets

Very few houses in Okhle have their own toilets and in 2004 the Trust donated £600 to fund the building of 2 village toilets. The work was completed by the time of the next visit in 2005. One of the toilets is in the centre of the village and is used by the villagers. The other is situated by the village volleyball pitch and is used by guests coming to the village. The volleyball pitch is their prime meeting area, so it is used by visitors attending weddings, religious festivals and other important functions. Cost: £600

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Okhle Village Buffalo Track

The main track that goes through the village of Okhale is used for access between the houses and for herding water buffalo. The picture above shows the track in mid November (a dry time of the year) leading down to one of the main water stand pipes and to a pool used for washing water buffalo. Up from this point the track is on a gentle slope and the surface is level however at this point the track narrows and drops to a lower level in a steep incline. The track surface is very uneven and consists of stones that vary in size from cobbles to boulders. Also a small stream joins the track at the top of the steep incline and runs down between the stones. The track is 11ft wide by 150 ft. and is bordered on either side by 6 ft high dry stone dyke. The uneven nature of the surface makes it difficult to move the animals safely, both for the animals and the person (usually children) herding the animals. It is particularly hazardous at night and during the wet season when the rocks become very slippery. In 2006 the Trust donated money to widen and level off the track. 150 metres of track has been completed. The second part down to the actual waterhole is steeper and more difficult. It is approximately 70 metres long and a further £600 has been donated to make it safe. The villagers will build a gulley for the river down one side and bridge it with stones. Cost: £1200 In 2009, the path nearest to the campsite was nearing completion with a retaining wall built on one side.The path down to the waterhole has yet to be started but more funds will be made available in 2010. The hardest part of the buffalo track remains unfinished. In 2010 we gave them a further £400 and the villagers promised to complete the reconstruction of the track by the time of our next visit.

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Okhle Village Water Project

When Richard first visited Okhle in 2003, he saw that water supply was a major problem. The rusting tanks, leaking pipes and taps did not supply enough water to the village, and the supply was at times impure. This first project to take place in Okhle involved the construction of two 20,000 litre tanks, the laying of 1200 metres of pipework underground, the restoration of 3 standpipes and the building of 2 new ones. The work was carried out by the villagers of Okhle. Cost: £3500 Completed: 2003 Funds: Raised by Richard Backwell

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Pathani Village Water Project

Pathani village water project consists of a single tank of about 40,000 litre capacity that was built between November 2015 and April 2016 and which replaced a leaking water chamber 10 metres higher up the hill . There is a sizeable trough below the tank enabling people to wash themselves, the washing of clothes and kitchen equipment and the collection of water for cooking and consumption. There are 3 taps. The tank represents the final piece of the jigsaw in that the 4 villages of Pathani, Kot Guan and upper and Lower Bayapani should now be able to enjoy a satisfactory water supply all year round. Wey Valley staff and students helped with the digging out of the tank foundations during their visit in December 2015 and Wey Valley School also jointly funded the Project with the Trust at a cost of £1200.

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Raile Water Project

Although supplied with water by pure gravity,the Raile Water Project is a most complex one. Their water comes from 2 springs, leech spring (named for obvious reasons) and temple spring named after a nearby Hindu temple. There is a water chamber at the temple spring but another chamber needs building at the leech site. Pipes lead downhill for the first kilometer from the 2 springs and come together in a duct which passes through a col with an 11 foot deep trench. At present the 2 pipes lead down to a leaking tank by the side of the road and the aim is to build a 30,000 litre rectangular replacement tank with a standtap about 60 metres above the community centre. This standtap would then be able to supply water to 8 houses above the community centre. One tapstand is foreseen above the road and two below the road to supply the main village centre. A further tapstand would be situated about 500 m from the village centre and this will supply water to another 7 houses. At present people living there go downhill to a spring which they share with 3 other villages, Barkhola, Kharkdaguan and Payswara. Water takes a long time to collect here as sometimes there is a queue of up to 50 people. In the dry season, people in the main village have to fetch their water from the neighboring village of Chahara, for which they pay 100 rupees a month.There is a heavy demand on the spring resulting in considerable queues. The distance from the top spring to the proposed tank will be roughly 1km with a height drop of about 100 metres. From the tank to the lowest standtap is a further 100 m drop and at least 800 metres of pipe will be needed to supply all 4 tapstands. Raile is a relatively large village,consisting of 50 houses and a population of 350 people. The cost of the project is estimated at between £3500 and £4000. In 2014 the new concrete collecting chambers at the two springs had been built. We saw how that to bring the water to the village they had dug a cutting into the hill at the col. The water tank was an extremely solid well built 30 000 litre stone tank and the five taps were distributed throughout the village. The costing had come out on budget. The materials and skilled labour were paid for by Portland and Casterbridge Rotary clubs and the OVT with work completed in 2014. The villagers themselves had carried out all the construction work.

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Raipali Village Water Project

Okhle Village Trust was first invited to Raipali village to look at their water situation in 2005. Raipali lies in a cluster of small villages in the Mahabharat Hills of Nepal, north west of the capital Kathmandu. The village is spread across terraced hillside that the villagers farm but their source of water lies in a narrow overgrown reentrant in the hillside, from which two springs surface at different elevations. The upper spring provides the more plentiful water supply although during the dry season the upper spring can run low, in which case water must be fetched from the lower spring. The upper spring at Rapali lies ninety vertical metres below the top houses in the village and the lower spring nearer one hundred vertical metres. The round trip to collect a supply of 15-25 litres of water takes up to an hour for some households, along a steep, uneven path. Men, women and children all assist in carrying out the arduous trek to fetch water, which is extremely hard on their bodies.In 2006 Okhle Village Trust part funded the construction of a 20,000 litre tank by the upper spring to provide a buffer of water for use in the dry season when the spring ran low. This was successful in negating the need for the villagers use the lower spring during the following dry season. However, the majority of the arduous trek to fetch water still remained. The only solution being to pump the water up the hill until it was in or above the village for local collection or gravity feed to where it was needed. With no electricity in the village, the most feasible option was a manually powered hand pump. A hydroram pump (which uses the kinetic energy of the flowing water to pump a proportion of the water uphill) was discounted as there was insufficient flow from the spring for the proportion of pumped water to provide for the village’s needs. Following design work for the project throughout 2006 the HOP5 mono progressive cavity design pump supplied by Orbit was selected as one of the few hand pumps able to pump to the required height.In November 2007 a group from Okhle Village Trust went to Nepal and worked with the villagers to prepare the infrastructure ready for the pump. This consisted of taking a feed pipe from the tank into a 6” tube (the pump housing), in which the borehole pump would sit. The tube was mounted on a concrete plinth and a further plinth was cast at the top of the tube on which people would stand to pump. The water was to be fed from the pump to a further water storage tank at a height of 70m above the top spring. Pumping the water to this height meant that some of the villagers would still have to come down up to 20 vertical metres to collect their water. However, this was the compromise reached between the manual pumping effort required and the proportion of the population who lived above the site of the top tank. The pipe route from the spring to the top tank was made as direct as possible to reduce the pipe friction. This involved taking a direct line up the thickly vegetated reentrant. With the aid of GPS and many expertly wielded khukuri machetes, the line of the pipe route was cleared. By the end of the Okhle Village Trust expedition in 2007, the top plinth had been cast with the pump housing in situ.A further group led by Okhle Village Trust journeyed to Nepal in 2008 with graduate engineers from Bristol and Durham universities. By this time the pump had arrived in Raipali village and was ready for installation. The group constructed a valve chamber next to the pump and trenched in the rising main pipe from the spring up to the top tank. A vast cavity was excavated into the side of one of the farmed terraces for the top tank in order to keep the tank cool. The pump was installed and put into service. In 2010 electricity was brought to Raipali village from a large hydroelectric power station in the main valley as part of a Nepalese government rural electrification programme. Although the hand pump was fully operational, the effort of hand pumping water a vertical height of 70m was still extremely demanding. This was the design compromise between making pumping physically easier and supplying enough water for the needs of the village. The villagers decided that they would like to switch to an electric pump. After further design work by Okhle Village Trust, a Pedrollo electric water pump was selected and procured.During an Okhle Village Trust expedition in November 2011, an electrical cabinet was constructed from local materials to house an electrical meter, circuit breaker, residual current device and voltage controller. The electrical components were wired up, the pump installed and all that remained at the end of 2011 was for the local electricity board to provide the power connection to the transformer in the village which lay 300m distant. 2012 saw the commissioning and first operation of the Pedrollo electric water pump providing water to the top tank in Raipali from which a gravity fed distribution system brings water to 4 tapstands in the village. The provision of water has been so successful that the villagers of Raipali are now consideringthe benefit of constructing a further upper storage tank to provide water for irrigation. On average, Raipali village uses 22,000 litres of water every 3 to 4 days which empties their current storage tank. Power is not continually available and during periods of the year the spring runs low as rain is infrequent. In order to provide the village with water over a longer period without power or rain the villagers of Raipali would like to construct another larger water storage tank of 30,000 litre capacity. This would give the villagers an extra 6 to 7 days supply during dry periods and enable them to collect water from their local tapstand even in periods with no power. The villagers pay 600 Rupees a month for the electricity used by the pump and the cost of an extra storage tank would be in the region of £1200. In December 2013, Wey Valley school also camped at Raipali and together with the villagers began to dig out the foundations for the tank. The project will be jointly funded by Wey Valley school and the Trust.

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Rbaje Village Water Project

In 2006, 5 members of the Trust had the privilege of becoming the first ever Westeners to visit the village of Rbaje, a 30-minute walk from Okhle. As at Okhle, their water was supplied by gravity feed from 2 springs, and their supply was also failing due to antiquated pipework and crumbling water chambers. At the upper water chamber where the water from the 2 springs met there were 2 exit pipes, one irrigating the rice fields during the monsoon and the other supplying the village. The work was completed in early 2008. A further £200 was donated to link 4 houses on the outskirts of the village to the pipe system. Cost: £1200 Partly funded by Squire Locks In 2009 , the village was given 3 new taps together with £100 to help with the repair of leaking pipes

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Tutepani Village Water Project

Tutepani is about a three hour walk to the west of Okhle on a dirt track road used by occasional motorcycles and a daily bus. The village is situated on a hill side with a total of 35 houses above and below the road and a population of up to 300. The villagers told us about their situation and needs. They have a small ancient water tank that leaks and therefore as many of the villagers only have enough water for the monsoon season they have to walk to a spring at another village for the other 9 months of the year and carry their water back to their houses. The Okhle Village Trust water project in conjunction with Dorchester Casterbridge Rotary is to provide the funds to build a new collection chamber at their spring which is in the hills 1.2km away, lay piping to the village, install a new 30 000 litre water tank and further piping to seven new tapstands throughout the village. The tank will fill in the monsoon. With careful use of water during the dry season and with the trickle from the spring there will be enough water for the village all year round. Tutepani was funded by Portland, Casterbridge and Rennes du Guesclin Rotary clubs, completed in 2015.

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