The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2021: a Project Update

September 30, 2022

Youth for WASH (Y4WASH) becomes Energy for WASH (E4WASH)

In the lead up to Christmas last year, we ran a match funding appeal for Y4WASH – a programme which seeks to improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene in the forgotten hilltop villages of Gorkha District, Nepal. Thanks to the 126 people who donated during the week-long campaign and the donors who provided the match funding, we hit and exceeded our £100,000 target. In fact in just seven days, we raised a grand total of £103,865.

This much-needed project was developed in collaboration with Raleigh International, who were due to deliver certain project activities and provide a proportion of the funding needed. Sadly, in May this year, Raleigh International entered voluntary liquidation.

This unexpected development presented us with a significant challenge. After careful consideration, we decided to take on the challenge of delivering the project independently and started planning our next steps.

With the loss of Raleigh as our project funding and delivery partner, we have had to make some changes to the scope of the project, but its core focus remains the same: to improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene in Gorkha.

Y4WASH has now become E4WASH

Y4WASH was an acronym for Youth for safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. Without Raleigh’s involvement, we are losing the youth volunteering element of the project and have refocused onto the energy component – the solar-powered water lifting systems. For that reason, we’ve changed the project name to E4WASH, which stands for Energy for safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.

E4WASH project overview

This two-and-a-half-year project started in April this year and then underwent revisions in June following news of Raleigh’s closure. The geographical focus of the project remains the same, we are still working in Gorkha District, the epicentre of Nepal’s devastating earthquakes in 2015 and where access to water and sanitation is among the poorest in Nepal.

Following consultation with local stakeholders, we will now be delivering the project in five hilltop communities where there is an urgent need for solar water lifting. This will improve access to and use of safe water, sanitation and hygiene for over 1,200 people living in these communities and attending local schools.

The availability of water, combined with the provision of training in climate-smart agriculture, will support year-round farming, improving access to food and strengthening incomes for some of Gorkha’s poorest people.

Community meeting at Kahule (one of the E4WASH communities)

Project progress

Following extensive scoping and feasibility work over the last few months, we have confirmed two communities, Kahule and Vyakure, and carried out pre-feasibility in a further three potential communities where E4WASH could have a transformative impact on health and livelihoods. 

Water source at Vyakure

Meet Sani Rana

One person set to benefit from this project is 58-year-old Sani Rana, who lives with her family of five in Kahule village. She told our project team how her community “used to have enough water, but since the 2015 earthquake, the water flow from the source has been significantly reduced.

Sani filling her water vessel at the source located below her community

During the monsoon season Sani can access water from a gravity-fed water system, but during the dry season (from November to May) this water source dries up. When this happens, she has to walk to another water source, located below her community. On each 45-minute round trip to this source, she is able to fill a vessel like the one pictured below with 15-20 litres of water. Sometimes she spends the whole morning collecting water, making multiple trips to the source and back.

Sani walking back up to her home carrying the filled water vessel

When thinking of the time she spends collecting water, Sani reflected “if this water scarcity problem was not there, maybe we can spend our time on other productive activitiesI will be happy to grow some vegetables in my kitchen garden if I had sufficient water and time.”

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported this project, which help remote communities like Sani’s transform their health and livelihoods.

P.S. Our next match funding appeal will go live on 29 November 2022 (Giving Tuesday). If you would like the opportunity to see your donation to Renewable World doubled, make sure you subscribe to our emails to find out more about the campaign and how you can donate.