Following the devastating April 2015 earthquake east of Kathmandu, we actually started our plans for reconstruction while the emergency relief phase was still ongoing. The school in the mountain village of Judeegaun was built in just 11 months, while our second school in Chandeni was opened just a few days ago. “We are very proud of the result. The new blue and white school buildings have been constructed to withstand earthquakes and they are larger than the ones that were completely destroyed by the earthquake”, our logistics expert Horst Hühnlein says.
However, one major problem was the lack of water. At the end of our reconstruction project in Nepal, we began excavating wells for each of the schools to provide them with an adequate supply of clean water. Before the digging work at our first site in Judeegaum could even begin, the access roads that had been completely blocked with mud during the monsoons had to be restored. “When we surveyed the site, located 200 meters away from the school, we began digging with shovels”, Hühnlein recalls. “But after only five meters, we had to stop as we struck bedrock. We made a second attempt 50 meters further away – and this time we were successful.”
The 12.5-meter deep hole, almost 2 meters across, was secured with cement rings during the excavation work. The rings stop the well from collapsing in on itself. It was really back-breaking work in 40-degree heat and with 92-percent humidity. But it all paid off – the well provides a large amount of water. Currently, our team is laying pipes and electricity cables between the school and the well.
In Chandeni, our second site, the new well will not only provide water for the school children, it will also supply the whole community with water. Yesterday, the water capacity was measured at five liters per second, which is definitely enough for the entire village. Several valves will now be installed so that the villagers will be able to access clean water from different points at the same time.