Korean and Nepalese students work together to develop eco-friendly appropriate technologies in the Begnas Watershed

Posted on: 2/2/2015

By: Lakpa Sherpa, Project Officer, LI-BIRD

Eco-friendly Appropriate Technologies are simple and affordable technologies that deliver sustainable local solutions to supply human needs with minimum impact on the environment. Any intended appropriate technology uses locally available resource materials and innovation to reduce the cost of design. It analyzes the local context, materials available, sketches the possible ideas and implements the innovation.

LI-BIRD and the United Nations Environment Programme National Committee for the Republic of Korea organized the 2014 Kia Ecodynamics Expedition. Sponsored by Kia Motors, this four day knowledge exchange programme at the Anada Jyoti Higher Secondary School in Dandathar village of the Begnas Lake Watershed introduced and engaged local students in developing appropriate technologies.

Forty-five students from Korea were paired with 45 students from Ananda Jyoti to worked together in developing and testing nine different appropriate technologies. The students came up with some fun and some functional names for these technologies, such as, U chair and P+ toilet, dream warmer, the efficient carrier for farmers, laundry bucket, bamboo hot water pot, dew collector, muffler, sanitary pad, sterilizer and wind winder.

The portable U chair was designed for old and people with disability who have difficulty in using traditional squat toilets. The dream warmer is a tent for keeping beds warm, especially handy in cold winter nights. The project bamboo hot water pot was inspired from rubber hot water bag using easily available bamboo and waste pet bottle. Students used readily available materials such as bamboo, plastic bucket, old bicycle tires, ropes, used pet bottles, straw craft, old clothes, etc. to build these technologies.

Students working together to make bamboo hot water bottle.

The laundry buckets, U chairs and dream warmers developed by the students were given to households of the village.

Rajendra Adhikari, a local resident who received the dream warmer bed tented said, “I felt warmer than before in the dream warmer bed tent. It is a simple but useful idea. I have a small baby girl and this tent will keep her warm in the winter. I am very thankful to the students of Korea and Nepal for their helpful ideas in our village.”

It is expected that the technologies delivered here will be advanced more in the future said Dr. Jae Bum Kim, UNEP Korea General Secretary. Dr. Ram Rana, the Director of Programme Operations, expressed LI-BIRD’s willingness to support for appropriate technologies development.

The exchange programme has paved a way for future collaboration between the LI-BIRD and UNEP Korea. In Begnas and Rupa Lake Watershed, LI-BIRD and UNEP Korea are already collaborating in bring solar energy to the Watershed Information Centre and View Tower at Sundaridanda.

This exercise has contributed to creating a problem-solving mindset among the young students in Begnas and encouraged their creative spirit. The young Korean students also went back with cherished memories.