Project Update: SFC

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Last year as part of our ongoing project around water security and fig water collection we developed a remote sensing system that records the total volume of water collected from a small fog collector (SFC).

An SFC is a 1 meter square test collector that is deployed in a test area for 3 to six months and the data collected is used to determine the efficacy of the location in terms of fog collection and is an important factor in designing a large-scale project.

On October 2013 NCDF deployed the first of these monitoring systems on a newly designed SFC made from UV resistant PVC.

The team designed the new collector and brought two of the with them to Nepal; each collector weighed just shy of 30kg and fit into a large duffle bag. 

One collector was ‘dry’ assembled at the Foundation of Sustainable Technologies (FoST) no PVC cement used to allow the collector  to be disassembled and the parts used to source local versions of the various fittings and pipes. PVC plumbing is widely available in Nepal and the general idea is to support the building of new SFC units as needed for field work in Nepal without requiring the materials to be brought in from abroad.

The second collector was brought to Panchthar and assembled on a hilltop between two valleys where reports informed us that fog collection might be successful given the volumes of low-level cloud coming from two different directions depending on the prevailing wind.

It took all day to get to the location and to assemble the SFC. The finished collector was erected close to a small temple located on the hilltop where the Priest and his family can keep an eye on it. 

When we left the hilltop the LED in the unit was signalling a charge and the SFC was waiting for the fog to roll in. We’ll be going back in May to collect the data and to look at it before making a decision to either leave the unit in place or move it to a new test area. 

Progress report: One School – One Nursery

This report was written and  submitted by Joanne Frappier, who recently completed the project described below.

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Last November, the One School – One Nursery project took shape in the Ilam District.

Besides the 10-day banda (general strike) and the national election that forced the project into paralysis for about ten days, two schools and a group of users of community forest started the establishment of nurseries following their needs and desires.

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The first school, Prajna Sadan – an English immersion school, chose to grow ornamental plants to decorate their new school grounds as well as plant fruit trees to feed their borders and students.

The second school, Saptamai Gurukul – a traditional school where teaching is done in Sanskrit, chose to grow medicinal herbs as well as plants and trees of religious significance for them.

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Finally, the users of the two community forests (one managed by a group of women and the other by men) have set their sights on commercial species to increase their income. For the women’s community forest, the nursery will consist of jackfruit trees while the men’s will consist of avocados. Since the canopy is dense and the landscape challenging for the establishment of plantations in the men’s forest, the community will likely test growing mushrooms in the near future.

While back in North America, Joanne’s, Brian’s and Chris’ work is not finished. 

Chris is developing a practical guide on the establishment of nurseries that will be produced in English and then translated into Nepali.

Brian is preparing two short videos: the first will document and promote the initiative One School – One Nursery; and the second, is aimed at promoting the Namsaling Community Development Center (NCDC ), our sister NGO in Nepal.  To achieve this, Brian taped twenty-seven interviews. Be they farmers, students or employees of the NCDC, thanks to the work of the latter, they all see a prosperous future for the Ilam district, a future that will be grounded in a sustainable environment and the responsible use of resources.

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As for Joanne, she is following up with the NCDC, following up on the budget, thinking of new fundraising activities and with the NCDC, is preparing the next field season in Ilam.