Nepal Damage Assessment on Rainwater Harvesting systems

June 29th, 2015By: Linda Bogaert

The earthquake on the 25th of April 2015 and the many aftershocks afterwards had a devastating effect on Nepal. The terrible disaster has taken many lives and a lot of people were injured and lost their homes. RAIN is working with local NGOs like NEWAH and HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal in several districts in Nepal. Some of the project areas are severely damaged, such as Ghorkha district where NEWAH is implementing some of our projects.

NEWAH has conducted a damage assessment on the current situation in Gorkha. The proposed intervention areas, Tanglichowk, Darbung, Namjung, Phinam and Ghairung, are all highly affected. According to the district, most of the houses are damaged and of a total of 4,106 houses in these villages 2,667 houses are fully destroyed. After the earthquake, most of the people in the villages are now living in temporary tarpaulin sheet (Tripal) houses.

In the past years NEWAH has build over 172 rainwater harvesting systems for households and institutional buildings in upperhill villages with water scarcity. After the earthquake it turns out that most of the rainwater storing tanks are still in good condition, but out of these 172 households 156 rooftops and the gutter systems are fully destroyed due to the collapse of the houses. As these rainwater harvesting systems are not connected to the roofs, they no longer can receive water from the current rainfall and people are now turning to other water sources, which are unprotected and have a considerable potential of contamination.

NEWAH, supported by RAIN, is now starting with rehabilitation activities of these rainwater harvesting systems in order to be able to provide safe drinking water for these communities. For example, as most of the storing tanks are still in good condition, NEWAH will use corrugated galvanized iron (CGI) sheets to collect the rainwater and use the already available tanks to store this water. Figure 1 shows this system.

Nepal Damage Assessment

Figure 1: New + old RWH system (Especially guttering system) rehabilitation work drawing.

For more information on the status and damage assessment in Ghorka read Jigmy Lama (Akvo) Blog on Assessing Damage & WASH Status in Gorkha using Akvo FLOW.