GlobalGiving's donors achieved two big goals in 'banishing darkness' in Nepal.
Donor contributions funded scores of 'Sun Lights' from Village Solutions in both the refugee camps of Palpa and the isolated fisherman's village of Puchuhar in Kavre Districts. These are rugged, simple solar systems that power several lamps which are located in key places in each home--the cooking area, children's study corner...
Village Solutions is a Nepali-owned startup formed by the former employees of EcoSystems, the predecessor of VillageTech Solutions. The employees were trained by EcoSystems in electronics design and assembly.
By funding a part of the initial production from Village Solutions, donors supported the launch of this local startup which now is actively making and selling lighting systems in Nepal. Through its own R&D, Village Solutions is introducing new products--such as a solar-powered street lamp.
As these lighting systems are affordable by a large part of the rural population, we feel it is no longer necessary or desirable to subsidize the selling price, and are closing this project. All donated funds have been applied to the Palpa and Puchuhar projects.
We thank our donors for their help in making this lighting initiative a success!
If you follow the tale of Nepal's politics, you know that after many years all parties to the long conflict are now part of the government. For our bridge-building colleagues in Village Solutions, the startup founded by our former EcoSystems manager, this means that now they can safely send a crew to each WireBridge for routine maintenance. This was not possible for a long time.
It costs between $18,000 and $26,000 to build a WireBridge today, roughly the price of a very inexpensive auto. To maintain a WireBridge we estimate is probably less than that for a car--perhaps around $600 per year. Most of this expense is to replace the tow rope, and periodically to replace the only moving parts: the metal wheels and bearings. A team of volunteer engineers is presently reviewing the design of this "trolley" with the goal of substantially extending the running life, and thus reducing the maintenance cost.
The thirtytwo existing WireBridges will be put on a routine maintenance program. These provide the missing link to school for hundreds of children -- a very effective way to provide reliable access to school, and key infrastructure for the economic and social life of these communities.
Our thanks to every GlobalGiving donor who has helped these thousands of people to reach their goals.
Sixty five families -- all of the homes in a small fishers' village in Nepal, will soon have LED lamps thanks to you, GlobalGiving's donors. Designed, built and installed by VillageSolutions (our Nepalese partner), these systems include three lamps, each with its own switch, which are installed in the homes, much as our own home wiring systems. A 3 watt solar panel provides energy, under the supervision of an electronic "charge controller", in a manner designed to maximize the useful life of the battery. During the installation, VillageSolutions will find and train a local person to provide future maintenance.
Please look at the first attachment for a closer view of this village and its people.