Solar Water Pumping Programme

Two thirds of Nepal’s population live in hilly or mountainous regions that are remote, poor and cannot be easily served by conventional piped water systems. Therefore the vast majority of hill communities still rely on collecting water manually from distant sources which is seen as a major constraint to improving health and livelihoods.

Country Context:

The burden of water collection falls mainly on women and children who spend several hours each day carrying water along steep, dangerous slopes. Often women can only collect enough water for 10 litres per person which is well below the 45 litres per person per day recommended by the World Health Organisation.

Programme Summary:

Renewable World will work with local partner International Development Enterprises Nepal (IDE-N) to use renewable energy to pump water to six hill communities where it is not possible to use gravity-fed systems because there is no access to water sources sufficiently close to the village. This will contribute to improving both the health and income generating opportunities of these extremely isolated communities through a reliable, cost effective alternative method of lifting water for drinking, domestic use and irrigation facilities.

To view our Solar MUS projects, and learn more, watch our video below

Renewable World Partner Support:

IDE-N has sought our support to integrate renewable energy effectively and appropriately into their previously successful multi-use system model. We will support them to engage solar water pumps as a method of lifting water in these areas, providing expert advice and analysis on the appropriateness of technology employed and the maintenance of the systems. Renewable World will also work with IDE-N to augment their understanding of further possibilities renewable energy could additionally provide to the communities.

Implementation:

  • The installation of multi-use water systems in six poor, marginalised hill communities with input from the local community through voluntary labour for the construction.
  • Development of a water user group (consisting of representative members of households within the community) which manages the system and administers a fund to maintain and operate it.
  • Support to a Marketing Planning Committee made up of members of the community involved in agriculture with the aim of helping them to take advantage of market opportunities (for example growing specific crops out of season to increase their market price), become more responsive to traders demands, access appropriate inputs and advocate for their members.
  • Community orientation to encourage households to change behaviours including hand washing, use of cleans utensils, and where necessary (if water from spring cannot be protected) boiling water or leaving it in a sealed clear plastic bottle in the sun (UV kills most bacterial contaminants).

Impact:

  • 180 poor rural household will benefit from increased annual incomes by $150 through locally appropriate business strategies such as high value horticulture
  • 180 households will benefit from improved health due to increasing access to clean drinking water, water available for hygiene and sanitation and by improved nutrition
  • Women and children across six hill side communities will benefit from reduced time and physical effort from collecting water, resulting in more time available for productive work and enhanced participation of female children in education.

Interviewer: ‘What will you do with the time saved from water carrying?’

Kavre District Villager: ‘I’ll spend more time on my children. I’d like to train for a skilled job, motivate the community, and grow vegetables to earn a little income.’

 Read more about our Solar MUS technology