An underdeveloped district close to Kathmandu, with virtually no roads. The communities here are extremely isolated and rely on walking tracks to get around.
Multipurpose Community Development Service, the development arm of the Nepal Baptist Church Council. The HELP (Health Education for Lay People) project has been supported by Baptist World Aid Australia in various communities for more than ten years.
Lacking basic services like electricity and toilets, as well as knowledge regarding sanitation and nutrition, many of the people in this isolated district suffer from malnutrition and face real health risks. Farming methods that strip the soil of nutrients prevent farmers from getting good crops, and leave the land vulnerable to erosion.
Well implemented, clever ideas can have amazing results and the HELP Nepal project is working to turn lives around by:
- helping people to install biogas toilets and other sanitary concrete toilets to prevent contamination of water and soil. Biogas toilets also provide gas for heating and cooking, and the decomposed waste is a great fertiliser!
- training people in kitchen gardening which ensures a variety of vegetables for the family all year round.
- promoting farming methods that put nutrients back into the soil for good crops every year.
- training families in managing livestock, like goats and poultry. This will also ensure a variety of foods are available both to eat and to sell.
- training people in health, sanitation and nutrition to prevent the spread of disease and build healthier, well-fed families.
Sahmila, her husband and their three children live all together in one, small room. They also share this tiny space with their two buffalo. Like most families in this area, they don’t have electricity, and relied on firewood gathered from local forests for cooking and heating. Their home was always full of smoke. The soot from the stove lined the walls of their one-roomed house and the children suffered repeatedly from lung infections.
But now Sahmila has a rather ingenious toilet. The toilet is connected to a biogas system so that the gas from the decomposed waste can be used as clean cooking fuel for the stove. What’s more, after six months the waste can be used as fertiliser for her garden.
Safe disposal of waste (human and buffalo!), safe cooking fuel, less soot and a more productive garden means a healthier family!