Lama Parivar Himalaya Treks
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Fixed Camping Tour in Nepal

Fixed Camping Tour in Nepal

Social Contribution

Social Sector Participant:

Lama Parivar Had Organized St. David's College Student Group for Langtang Trek In 1992 Combined Phakhel Village Visit: The St. David's college student North Wales, UK – where they have volunteered to up-grade drinking water supply, to the village school and tree plantation in PHAKHEL. They have contributed a great deal of efforts which still remains an inspiring and long lasting memories, 3 cheers for St. David's college student! Now the villagers have the ideas & views for better living. After many programm in the village now they have clean drinking water system in the village, school has changed, better sitting arrangement good school teachers and the tree plantation has helped the villagers to a great extent easily available green fodders for cattle's shades for travelers and as a whole the village has a new face for betterment. We always work hard & look forward to having more new programms to introduce in near future.

We "all the villager" are highly appreciated who made great contribution and efforts to make such change for our Phakhel village.

We would like to Thanks all our well wisher.

THE KATHMANDU ’92 PROJECT – WHERE AND WHY

Phakel village lies in the Mahabharat Hills, less than 30 KM from Kathmandu. Villagers used to walk into Kathmandu to sell the small surplus of fruit or vegetables grown on their farms and in exchange take home salt, sugar or small luxuries such as tea. As happened everywhere, young men and boys left the village to "seek their fortune" in the city. The fortune seekers first had to find a job and earn enough money to feed themselves. Secondly they enrolled in classes to learn to read and write Nepali and English, often before or after a full day's work. Starting as dishwashers, several graduated to other kitchen jobs and eventually became cooks. Missing the outside life they had known in the village, some moved into trekking and travelled all over Nepal, returning home to Phakhel in mid winter and the monsoon. They visited Khumbu and saw how Hilary schools, water and electric projects eased life for the people; Sir Edmund Hilary had founded a Trust after the first ascent of Everest, which has assisted Khumbu and the Sherpas in many ways.

Many Phakhel men marry and have families who continue to live in the village. During their time away, the men learn to value schooling and want to improve their village school so the next generation has a chance they did not get. The villagers set to work to get government recognition for their school and a salaried teacher appointed. To do this, the first small school was rebuilt and money raised by street collecting in Kathmandu and Tihar - rather like our carol singing at Christmas, a village concert, telling the villagers the plans, raffles, etc. The plans were successful and when the new government teacher came, so many children enrolled that the building was again too small and plans for a bigger school were drawn up, together with a toilet - sanitary arrangements become essential when so many children come to one place!

Lal. B. Lama was one of the villagers who went into trekking. In 1979 Lal invited two trekkers to his home, the first foreigners to visit the village. However Phakhel remained unchanged for the next ten years. In 1990 Lal set up Parivar Trekking - Parivar means family - with friends in Kathmandu and Kay White in Bangor. They realised that trekking with the Nepalis is as important as seeing the Himalayas. Treks were planned to go slowly through the villages, as well as to the high mountains. The first help for Phakel came from these trekkers who gave donations, to build two toilets, to employee a second teacher, appointed by the village committee, and for some school furniture and equipment.

Domestic water comes from small streams, not always clean and a, long way from many homes. Carrying water is heavy work, much of it done by women. The ridges where crops are grown are short of water for much of the year. To ease the situation, Lal dug a small channel which sloped around the hill to bring water half a mile to his home. Later donations enabled a small pipe to be laid along the channel to give a continuous clean supply to several farms. The advantages were more than expected. The families saved several hours a day and could irrigate vegetables so their diet also improved. They still had to shout to each other to rejoin the pipe when a lower farm wanted water. The Mahabharat hills were once entirely forested but with increasing population using wood for building, fuel and animal fodder, many areas have been cleared. Deforestation is taking place in many districts and the Forestry Dept. gives trees to anyone who wants to plant them. In 1991 Phakhel villagers planted over 2000 trees but, without protection from grazing animals, their survival rate was not good.

Donations are very useful but expertise and more man power are also needed. At this point Mr Ross met Parivar and the chance came - the Langtang Trek, together with the skills and labour of the St David's team to upgrade the water supply into a sophisticated system with tap points, toilet taps, break pressure tanks and valves and to plant 2000 trees, 400 with protectors to keep animals away so that the survival rate would be higher. An enormous amount of work was accomplished in six very wet monsoon days - the school exams ruled out any other season. In Phakhel, aggregate is hard to come by and for the Dravidians one of the hardest surprises was that it had to be made by them. Large stones had to be hammered to pieces!

Preparations were made in Nepal for the expedition. In the village, some of the conversions went like this: "We are planning to fix water pipes with taps. Would you like a tap by your house?" "I'll think about it."/

 

Now the villager asks, "Why didn't I get a tap?"

Hari, our cook's father, told his neighbor, "Lal is arranging a water project. Lal is asking school boys to come here from America (all Westerners are called Americans) and they are going to fix taps for us."

The reply was: "My son won't listen to me, so American boys won't come when Lal asks them." But they did! Maybe they will come again. Now other villages are asking for taps. Perhaps they will expect the visitors and perhaps sand and aggregate will be ready next time?

 

LAL.B. LAMA and KAY WHITE.

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