We are still working on the minutes from the October 2nd board meeting but a great thing to come out of it was approval of Dorjee Sherpa’s proposal to use the earthquake funds (up to $15,000 USD) at Budhanilkantha school in northern Kathmandu to help build adequate bathroom facilities for the female students. There is a strong link between access and staying in school for girls in Nepal.
We’ve toured the school, met with leaders, and have initial engineering designs (we are paying $90 to a company for these designs and have some latitude on changing them). The school serves over ~650 poor students (most families in Kathmandu try to send their children to private schools because the government schools are so poor). Over ~60% of these students are girls but they only have 4 stalls to use; all are in bad condition and drain directly into a river in the back of the school. We hope to start construction soon but would also love feedback from anyone with an engineering background. We will also be asking non-engineering folks for input on some other design aspects in the near future (like having an inspirational quotes to put on a wall etc).
For now – we want to get these designs up. We’ll be posting progress reports as the projects gets underway. Dorjee, Sudeep and Seth all live relatively near the school so we should be able to monitor and report on the project well. So without further ado: Toilet-Model 1 | Toilet-Model 2 | Toilet-Model 3 | Toilet-materials (costs) . We’ve asked that the design be ‘future proof’ so if the school wants to tap into biogas for cooking and heating the setup will allow for this. We would love some confirmation on this. We asked girls at the school what they want and one thing strongly voiced was a private entrance where you would then see a row of stalls and wash basins – the initial entrance shielding all from view ‘like in the city mall restroom’. We understand these designs have 5 stalls, 2 are western to accommodate students with disabilities and 3 are traditional squat toilets. There will be large septic tanks, a deep foundation, and a forward looking design that will allow for a second story someday should it be needed (the water cisterns would be raised).
Pictures below are from a site visit on 9/14/2015 with some Annapurna Trail Race participants (thanks Amy and Fab). For pictures from a visit on 10/6/2015 please see #TeamWOV member Michelle Landry’s blog post: https://moundbagger.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/wide-open-vistas/