Posted to Pokhara: Planting Rain in Nepal

by Blandine Barthod | 30 September 2019
Image Posted to Pokhara: Planting Rain in Nepal

My departure for Nepal is now approaching very quickly. After studying international relations, environment and water management, I am excited to finally use my knowledge practically. I already had some travelling experience as a backpacker. However, this fieldwork is very special, as I will discover an unfamiliar society with different cultural traditions. I am excited about this journey and the inspiring new people I will meet.

Throughout this journey, I will have the opportunity to discover the projects implemented by IRHA, to meet local partners and to work with local communities. I will assist in monitoring and developing three of the pilot projects that IRHA has established in Nepal, to demonstrate the value of rainwater harvesting in school WASH projects, in disaster relief activities, and in disaster risk reduction.

Monitoring IRHA’s integrated, sustainable development approach to WASH projects, I will move between Pokhara and the surrounding mountains, visiting nine Blue Schools to determine if their health, sanitation, and local investment objectives of this project were achieved. My evaluation will identify potential problems and opportunities for improvement, to ensure these Blue Schools continue to supply their pupils with drinking water and sanitation facilities for many years to come.

As I transit through Nepal’s capital, I will also evaluate IRHA’s Emergency Rain and the Rain Community projects, that were established in the vicinity of Kathmandu. These pilot projects were implemented with our partner Guthi. They involved harvesting rainwater as a potable water source for people living in the internally displaced camps set up following the 2015 earthquake. We want to see how this infrastructure is being used four years after the earthquake.

The main reason I am travelling to Nepal, however, is to assist with the initiation of IRHA’s Rain Communities project. This venture will implement a water resource management strategy on a large, watershed scale. Improving the infiltration of rainwater and retaining it within catchment, using traditional ponds for example, buffers fluctuations in water availability associated with the wet monsoon and dry seasons. Retaining water locally in this manner increases mountain communities’ resilience, in a context where extreme weather events are predicted to increase as climate change intensifies. The Rain Communities project will develop local dialogue about resource management to improve water governance and establish a Water Use Master Plan. This will involve rainwater harvesting and storage systems being built or rehabilitated, and the initiation of agroecological practices that facilitate soil water infiltration. My role in the field is to help identify the watersheds we will begin to rehabilitate and to initiate participatory, 3D mapping of this area.Having grown up in the Haute-Savoie region of, with summits like the Pointe de Sur Cou (pictured), I'm excited about my time in the mid-hills of Nepal.

Our projects

The Blue Schools

This program aims to educate school children to the management of water, sanitation and good hygiene practices, but also the recovery of waste to make blue schools, incubators of social change "

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> Discover the initiative "one child, a tree"


Rain, Forest and People

Climate change requires us to rethink our management methods and practices. This project aims to build community resilience by combining better management of water resources, trees and soil.

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Rain Community

Changes in rainfall patterns in the mid-hillls of Nepal disrupting the subsistence agriculture. The project aims to implement better water resource management at the watershed level to promote water infiltration.

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Emergency Rain

The "Emergency Rain" project aims to provide access to clean water and restore dignity for those who have nothing, the forgotten from water services, who live on the outskirts of our cities and have to fight every day to access even water for drinking.

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Workshops: Water and the City

The objective of this workshop is to bring school children to become aware of their environment, and to be able to implement durable, sustainable solutions in their city.

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Workshop: in the rain ink

The aim of this "In the rain ink" project is to transform the representations of rainwater seen as a nuisance, poetically using the urban environment in which we live.

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> See Trailer



International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (IRHA)

International Environment House 2
Chemin de Balexert, 9
1219 Châtelaine, Geneva CH

T: +41 22 797 41 57

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