News

Nepal - Bees for biodiversity and the rural economy

by Dharma Raj Dakal (adapted by Florian Bielser) | 24 May 2024
Image Nepal - Bees for biodiversity and the rural economy

One of IRHA's project takes place in Kaski and Chitwan districts in Nepal. In partnership with three local partners Sapana Village Social Impact - SVSI, Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Resarch and Development - LI-BIRD and Kanchan Nepal - KN, the project aim improve community resilience and living conditions by restoring ecosystem functionalities, enhancing water availability, consolidating agricultural practices and strengthening collective/sustainable management of natural resources by ...


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Image Walking the trail in Nepal

Following the 2-day Regional Rainwater Conference on 18 and 19th of March organized by the Nepal Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (see March newsletter), Florian Bielser, IRHA Programme Officer, and Han Heijnen, President of the IRHA Board, joined Nirmal Adhikari, programme coordinator of Kanchan Nepal, our partner, for a 10-day field trip to Chitwan and Kaski districts.

The purpose of our visit was to see how the IRHA supported projects in the two districts had evolved and to strengthen th...


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Image Harvesting rain in Nepal - Regional conference on rainwater management

From March 18 to 19, the Regional Conference on "Rainwater Harvesting and Management: Harnessing Rainwater for Enhanced Water Security and Climate Resilience" took place in Kathmandu, Nepal. On the day preceding the conference, March 17, international participants were able to visit urban rainwater recharge and capture projects implemented in Kathmandu.

The event was aimed at regional players active in rainwater management. Participants came from the authorities (4 mayors and 3 current and for...


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The concept of Community Seed Banks (CSB) has been globally developed to address on-farm conservation and utilization of local plant genetic resources, along with associated traditional knowledge. This initiative aims to counteract the rapid loss of genetic resources within local production systems. CSBs are designed to conserve, restore, revitalize, strengthen, and enhance plant genetic resources, with a primary emphasis on local crop varieties (Vernooy et al., 2020). These banks actively ...


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Aadarsha Blue School is the 12th Blue School implemented by Kanchan Nepal (KN) and International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (IRHA) in Nepal. Blue School, a programme developed by IRHA in 2005, aims to improve the children’s health at school by access to water, sanitation, hygiene practices and resource management.

These past weeks works have ramped up. Construction materials have arrived on site and terracing works have started. Before constructing NEW blocks of toilets, communities were ...


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In the countries in which IRHA operates, we work alongside those who are who are committed to changing their daily live. With or without outside NGOs, they get involved, implement on a small scale, test and learn from their mistakes.

Too often our external NGOs, in a frantic race to attract beneficiaries and be able to deploy activities, fail to listen to the weak signals from those who, day after day day after day, implement change in their fields, as a cooperatives and at household level....


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We are delighted to announce that, thanks to funding from the Fédération genevoise de coopération (FGC), and in partnership with Kanchan Nepal, Libird and SVSI, we are launching a new integrated water resources management project for the Kaski and Tobang catchment areas.

This project aims to rethink the management of (rain)water and soil resources. This will be achieved by implementing water conservation/retention measures at all levels of the catchment area in order to restore a natural wa...


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Storing runoff during the monsoon season in Himalayan hills is crucial to have enough water to cope with the dry season, especially considering that climate change is changing rainfall intensity and patterns. Traditional Nepalese water ponds, called pokharis, are used to store runoff mainly for cattle rearing and rice fields’ supplementary irrigation. Local communities are interested in restoring existing pokharis and building new ones to improve their economical and living conditions. Sele...


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Rain Communities are targeted communities in mid hills of Nepal where nature-based solutions have been implemented through Integrated Water Resouce Management (IWRM) activities in partnership with Kanchan Nepal.

Discover the video of our project !



Let's go for Blue School#11! (Tobang, Nepal). The Kanchan Nepal team met with the local authorities and the school of Janapriya to launch the project.

This initiative will help in enabling an environment where pupils can be safe and study. We will rehabilitate toilets, build 2 cisterns to collect rainwater and store it, build a roof serving as a catchment area as well as hand washing stations.

This initiative is supported by the Hirzel Foundation and the Services Industriels de Terre Sainte et ...


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As part of its reforestation activities within the “Rain Communities” project in Nepal, IRHA is working closely with the Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal (FECOFUN), which units together 22’300 Community Forestry Users Groups. To better understand FECOFUN’s activities in Nepal, Nirmal Adhikari (NA) – Project Manager at Kanchan Nepal - interviewed Kalidas Subedi (KS), the Provincial Chairperson of FECOFUN for Gandaki Province.

NA: Who is FECOFUN?

KS: The Federation of...


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Building ponds, building water security

by Eleonora Forzini, Blandine Barthod | 29 October 2021

Storing water during monsoon in the nepalese hills is crucial to have enough water to cope with the dry season, especially now that climate change is causing modifications in rainfall intensity and pattern.

In the framework of the project “Rain communities”, a collaborative field mission has been conducted in Nepal in October 2021 between the team members of the Water Harvesting Lab - WHL (University of Florence) and the IRHA. The visit aimed to refine the best sites for water collection a...


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Farmers' fight to restore ecosystems

by Blandine Barthod | 26 April 2021

With human forcing of the climate system, storms and droughts are becoming more severe and prolonged in many regions across the globe (UNFCC, 2014).

In Nepal, increasingly intense monsoon rainfall and longer dry periods are predicted. Marginalised communities in the Himalayan Mid-hills are already experiencing the adverse impact of these increasingly erratic weather patterns.

Yet we can still act for the common good of these communities and the ecosystems that support them. By working with vil...


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In support of the "Rain Communities" project, a nursery is being built in Pokhara region to support reforestation and anti-erosion activities. Native plants with high economic value have been selected in partnership with FECOFUN (Federation of Community Foresty Users Nepal) to promote the infiltration of rainwater and to ensure better soil maintenance.


And 10! Kalika Blue School

by Blandine Barthod | 17 February 2021

And 10 ...! The success of the blue schools continues and it is spreading in Pokhara region.

After having implemented 4 Blue Schools from 2011-2013 in marginalized communities of the Annapurna Massif region, which are seriously lacking access to safe drinking water, quality sanitation and knowledge on best hygiene practices, IRHA and its local partner Kanchan Nepal have received requests from other local communities to implement the Blue School concept in the region.

Thus, a new Blue School wa...
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Mapping Rain for Collective Gain

by Rachel Nisbet | 27 February 2020

Making Participatory Maps to Talk Water

Creating an Integrated Water Resource Management plan involves many community-based organisations. In our Nepali project with Kanchan Nepal, we liaise with mother’s groups, youth clubs, water user committees, cooperatives, farmer’s groups, and forest user groups to get communities thinking about how their water supply depends on both groundwater flow and rainfall.

To cultivate local hydro-wisdom, it is important to find a common language to tal...


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Blandine Barthod’s assessment of IRHA’s 10 Blue Schools in Nepal took her through the mountain region to the East of Pokhara. She visited the following schools between 16 October and 13 November 2019, with the help of our local project partners Kanchan Nepal:

Accompanied by a translator, she first attended the opening of a new Blue School at Bijaya village, with its news rainwater harvesting tank and toilets (images 1 & 2 below).

She then visited an abandoned school at Arundaya, where...


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Posted to Pokhara: Planting Rain in Nepal

by Blandine Barthod | 29 September 2019

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 disco...


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Our collaboration with the local NGO Kanchan Nepal has assisted them in 'empowering communities with Water, Sanitation and Health Services’. Despite the high rainfall it receives during the monsoon, the Kaski District is water-stressed. It is comprised of steep-sided valleys, primarily composed of limestone (karst); thus, water preferentially flows underground, making surface runoff collection difficult (Rimal et al 2018).[1] Providing a reliable supply of drinking water for rural communi...


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