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Nepal Greenhouse Pilot Project Progress Report 1
Category: Social Development | By RotaryGlobal, 4-Aug-2012 | Viewed 5916  Comments 0
We kicked off the Nepal greenhouse pilot project in 2 areas, Khumbu and Humla, on 1 July.

Namche Bazar, Khumbu Region, Neopal

Our partner in the Khumbu is GERES, an established French NGO who have been successfully building thermal mass greenhouses in Ladakh India for 15 years.

  • Negotiated a detailed MOU with GERES based on assumed Rotary and my funding per the Rotary project application.

  • Samten Choephel, ex- GERES employee who helped implement their Ladakh greenhouse program, and who will be implementing our program in the Khumbu for the next 5 months, arrived in Nepal on 7 July.

  • Samten spent 1 week in Kathmandu meeting with my Humla NGO contact and identifying and exploring potential local collaboration partners includig SPCC (Sagamatha Pollution Control Commission), Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation, CRT (Center for Renewable Technology), and THELP.

  • Samten met with Yogi, head of Humla Development Initiative to get an introduction into working in Nepal and recommendations about how to pursue work in the Khumbu

  • Samten took one week to get from Kathmandu to Lukla due to inclement weather, finally having to take a helicopter.

  • Samten started implementing the GERES plan to survey, identify, and vet potential greenhouse promoters

  • Samten hopes to have the promoter selection process completed by the end of August and have identified 4 greenhouse promoters so we can start construction in September

  • Samten spent one week in Namche and then moved his based of operations to Khumjung and Thame due to the high cost of living in Namche.

  • We continue to explore how is the best way to transfer project funds into Nepal.

Simikot-headquarter of Humla

Our partner in the Humla is HDI (Humla Development Initiative), a Nepal
NGO who has been working with 2 local NGOs for several years.

  • Tom spent 10 days trekking with Yogi Kayastha, head of HDI, in April visiting and vetting various greenhouse promoters.

  • We selected a greenhouse promoter in 2 villages and are in the process of selecting one in a third village

  • We are completing translation of the 2 GERES passive solar greenhouse manuals into Nepalese with the approval and support of GERES- we plan to print several copies for use by the local Humla NGO staff, local greenhouse promoters and local construction personnel and for use in the Khumbu also.

  • We decided to defer construction until the end of the monsoon in September

  • Local greenhouse promoters will start collecting stones for construction of the solar thermal mass walls.

  • We are preparing to transfer initial funds for material acquisition in preparation for construction


  • Tom explored adobe mass wall technology while on a trip to Peru - visited an adobe brick collective "factory", explored adobe construction issues with 2 American architects teaching architecture students in Cuzco, explored ways to protect adobe from weather deterioration

  • Tom visited several greenhouses on the high desert plateau in Bolivia near Lake Titikoca and explored the viability of various design features that might work in Nepal.  These features include greenhouse stone foundations and drainage berms to protect the lower part of adobe walls from weather deterioration and roof overhangs to protect from roof runoff.

  • One interesting greenhouse was a subterrain one dug into the ground on a south facing slope.  This greenhouse holds promise for possible application in Nepal as it eliminates the need to build rock walls (or at least most of the rock walls), provides earth insulation for the walls thus eliminating the need for double insulated rock walls, and should be much cheaper and less labor intensive to build than double insulated stone mass wall greenhouses.
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