Biogas
 
In 2007, Nepal SEEDS started a pilot project that integrates composting toilets with biogas. Biogas systems recycle animal and human waste into methane gas that is used as cooking fuel in homes. The biogas system includes a composting toilet, an animal waste intake, a very large underground tank to which the two sources of waste are connected, and a piping system and gas burning stove to which the fuel generated in the tank is sent. The conservation benefits are significant.  Before the biogas program it was estimated that a household was using 100 baskets of wood (3-4 trees) per year.  With the addition of biogas fuel, the households were able to reduce their use to about 30 baskets.
Composting Outhouses

One of Nepal SEEDS’ earliest projects was the construction of composting outhouses. In 1998, Nepal SEEDS partnered with villagers in Bhorle and built 5 outhouses. Today, Nepal SEEDS has contributed to the construction of more than 400 composting outhouses serving nearly 2,800 people. We provide the materials and design and villagers provide the labor and the commitment to routine maintenance.
 
The disposal of human waste is one of the largest sources of pollution, water contamination, and disease on earth. In many parts of Nepal, basic sanitation systems are not present, meaning that people are drinking from and eliminating into the same streams and rivers. Nepal SEEDS has also worked to help people understand the health and sanitary benefits of composting toilets. An added benefit: for many villagers the composting toilet provided them with a level of privacy they had not experienced before.
Water Projects

Nepal SEEDS has built 13 water delivery systems: 3 in Sisneri, 3 in Chitlang, 6 in Bhorle, and 1 in Dolpo. Each system services approximately 200 people.

Villagers have learned how to properly service and maintain these systems, and have adapted the systems to serve new needs. For example, excess water is now channeled to garden plots so that people can grow vegetables year round.  Also, women can be more attentive to their children since the day is no longer filled with the task of fetching water.
 
Each village where Nepal SEEDS provides a water project also receives assistance to build composting toilets. In addition, Nepal SEEDS helps improve schools’ infrastructures by providing water systems and toilets.

After a recent inspection, the Minister of Social Welfare proclaimed Nepal SEEDS to be the most effective NGO working in this region of Nepal. Our construction costs are a fraction of other similar projects and, because of the involvement of the recipients in the planning and construction phases, our projects are fully sustainable.

 

Environmental Projects
 

Nepal SEEDS supports biogas, composting outhouses, water systems, and training programs that aim to simultaneously improve the environment and people’s health.

 
Helping Communities
Help Themselves
 
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Training and Restoration
Bagmati River Restoration and Nature Center

Nepal SEEDS partnered with Bird Conservation Nepal to support the development of the Bagmati River Nature Park. Development of the park includes a Visitor Center to demonstrate the importance of the river system and benefits of conservation. New trails through the park are used by around 150 people each day, for their morning and evening leisure walks. The eastern half is maintained as a natural area for birds.

The park provides a balance between managed and unmanaged, developed and natural areas along the river. Approximately 3.4 million people live in the Kathmandu Valley. There are very few green spaces such as parks or nature reserves for the urban population. The Bagmati River corridor is one of the few available green spaces within the capital city.

The main problems facing the Bagmati River corridor are encroachment by squatters, lack of septic tanks and soak pits resulting in the influx of raw sewerage, dumping of household and industrial waste, sand extraction for construction, and continual expansion of the built environment that reduces habitat quality and scenic views.

Inspired by the conservation work that has been done along the Bagmati River, the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) plans to expand conservation and restoration efforts throughout the entire Bagmati corridor.


Koshi Tappu

Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve was recognized in 1987 as a Ramsar site of international importance for migrating wildfowl. The large number of bird species (485) makes it by far the most significant wetland staging post for migrating waterfowl in Nepal and one of the most important in Asia. Many globally threatened bird species have been recorded in the Koshi Tappu area, which is especially critical for some wetland species, including eight of Nepal's near-threatened wetland birds.
 
Nepal SEEDS partnered with Bird Conservation Nepal to host an environmental and health fair and one day health clinic in Koshi Tappu, in the Terai region of Nepal. The goals of the fair were to provide health services to an underserved population in Nepal, and raise awareness of the environmental and ecological importance of the wetlands of Koshi Tappu.

The one day clinic brought doctors and nurses from Kathmandu to do check-ups, medical diagnoses and overall health education. While people stood in line waiting for their medical consultations, staff from Bird Conservation Nepal and some students from the local Nature Club walked around with books and posters and explained about the natural history and biological importance of the area. They provided the foundation for community discussions about the potential conflicts between wildlife and humans needs of the same lands and resources. The integration of education, health, and environmental projects supports a higher standard of living, better health and enhanced biodiversity.


 

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Another significant benefit of the biogas program is that it improves indoor health conditions for women by eliminating smoke in the kitchen from the open fire.  This provides some relief from eye and lung problems commonly associated with a smoky kitchen environment. Nepal SEEDS has provided funding for biogas projects in the Chitlang and Bhorle regions, and is now identifying other areas for the expansion of the program.

Nepal SEEDS would like to thank REI for supporting the biogas project.