VillageTech Solutions (VTS)

Create technology to better lives in developing countries
Feb 13, 2012

Sustain~Ability = Keeping students aloft in Nepal

Thumka WireBridge
Thumka WireBridge

Since 1998 thirty eight WireBridges have been built over Nepal's rivers. We estimate these made possible more than 3 million crossings, all without accident.

Sparked by pleas from rural villagers, this low-cost solution emerged from countless volunteer hours, donations from individuals and institutions, and the patience and dedication of a great Nepalese construction team.

With a decade of experience, Village Solutions, the Nepalese affiliate, will will soon start refitting each of the bridges. The upgrades will include a new trolley design (for longer service life), additional safety gear, new ropes, etc. The team will also collect photos and anecdotes from the local users, which we hope to relay back to you, our supporters.

Current donations will be used for four bridges: Thumka ~ 128 meters, Gadhi II ~ 80 meters, Jaldevighat ~ 170 meters, and Sukaura ~ 165 meters. This requires $ 13,800; $ 11,600 is on hand; $ 2.200 to go!

All together the daily traffic on these four bridges is nearly 800 round trips --  for school, health care, market access. That's impact!

Please help us to keep our students (and their parents) aloft!

Gadhi WireBridge
Gadhi WireBridge
Jaldevighat WireBridge
Jaldevighat WireBridge
Sukaura WireBridge
Sukaura WireBridge
Nov 6, 2011

Final Project Report: Lamps Lit in Nepal

Sun Light 3 watt system
Sun Light 3 watt system

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!

Sun Light 10 watt system
Sun Light 10 watt system

Links:

Nov 6, 2011

WireBridges Revisited -- Building on Experience

Passengers crossing the Sun Kosi river
Passengers crossing the Sun Kosi river

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.

Links:

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