By Jon Kaufman, a member of the Rotary Club of Peninsula Sunrise, California, USA
The installation of two water plants in rural villages in Nepal now produce more than 20,000 liters of safe drinking water every day, using solar wind as their power source. We helped install the SunSpring ultra-filtration systems the week of 1 July through 7 July as part of the ongoing H2OpenDoors project sponsored by my Rotary club and partnering clubs.
I was able to raise the $50,000 for these units at two different golf tournaments in 2015, thanks to hundreds of generous donors. The tournaments were held in Half Moon Bay, California, and Itasca, Illinois.
The Rotary project worked with Helping Hands, a Nepal non-government organization headed by Narayan Shrestha. Narayan, a Boulder, Colorado, businessman with deep roots in Nepal, has built hospitals and schools in that country and is widely respected among the Himalayan communities. In the small town of Khandabar, Helping Hands has built a school for 700 students. While they do get mountain spring water through the property, the quality is not safe to drink. The SunSpring system now purifies the supply, and tanks and distributes to the main canteen for teachers and students to enjoy.
In Chainpur, a small farming community, the other SunSpring was installed to form the basis of a water bottling operation. Sales of the 20-liter bottles will support the funding of a new Helping Hands-run health clinic to serve that community.
Water represents an exciting and lucrative opportunity for these villages, schools, and hospitals. All suffering from lack of funding sources, H2OpenDoors projects make it possible for them to earn their money and direct the profits to their social services. H2OpenDoors will be back in Nepal in February 2017 with interested Rotarians from the U.S., and another system to install on the roof of a brand new hospital in an impoverished district of Kathmandu. The pure water will supply the entire building with safe, clean water. The expedition will also take a five-day trek through the Annapurna mountain range.
“Water represents an exciting and lucrative opportunity for these villages, schools, and hospitals.”
The Rotary Club of Kantipur, Kathmandu, will be H2OpenDoors’ lead in-country club partner going forward and will serve as hosts in February. Roberty McKinley, president of the Rotary Club of SFO in San Francisco accompanied me on this trip and discussed our future work with Rajendra Lal Shrestha of the Kantipur club. We also met with the hospital’s CEO who explained that of the over 100,000 patients served last year, over 75 percent were there for issues related to bad water.
If you want to join H2OpenDoors on their next expeditions to Cuba, Nepal, Morocco, Nicaragua or Mexico, contact us at jon@H2OpenDoors.org. You can also find out more about us at www.H2OpenDoors.org and on Facebook.
About the author: Jon Kaufman owns KL&P Marketing, a large agency in the Silicon Valley. He launched H2OpenDoors in 2013 and has installed 14 water systems in eight countries, with the help of dozens of Rotary members and friends.