Eight years ago, during 2012/13, two Group Study Exchange visits took place between the UK and Nepal – one led by current 1220 District Governor, David Hood and the other led by 3292 District Officer, Nugal Vaidya.
These visits resulted in the development of an enduring relationship and it soon became clear there was a role for Aquabox in Nepal.
We are all aware of the prevalence of natural disasters – earthquakes (Everest 2015 very significant), landslides, mud-slips that beset Nepal on a regular basis.
Each time one such disaster hits, whole communities and their services are massively impacted, with the supply of safe water a major issue.
During a 2013 visit by David Hood to Launceston Rotary in Cornwall, the conversation moved round to the work of Aquabox and David’s relationship with Nepal, and how the creation of a contingency store of Aquaboxes in Nepal would be a way in which a speedy response to these regular humanitarian needs could be managed.
Through this initial contact with Launceston Rotary, David was pointed in the direction of John Monaghan of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service.
This service had been supplying Nepal with surplus fire and rescue equipment for some time and had developed a relationship with the British Gurkha Rifles who managed the transport of this kit out to Kathmandu.
To assist Aquabox, John brokered a relationship with the British Gurkha Rifles and in 2013, using their services, Aquabox were able to sea freight, via Kolkata, their first shipment of boxes.
Mindful of the need to exercise due diligence, Aquabox’s aid was held in a secure storage facility at the British Gurkha Rifles’ headquarters outside Kathmandu.
From here, the aid was distributed under Rotary guidance, according to local need, and under the supervision of the Nepalese Armed Police.
This continues to be the way in which Aquabox safely stores and distributes the aid to this day; ready for the next inevitable disaster to hit.
Subsequently, another use of our aid was established.
Aquabox were approached by the Gurkha Welfare Trust who act on behalf of ex-Gurkha servicemen returning to their communities in Nepal.
These villages are often very poorly served. The Aquaboxes provide much needed aid and a safe water supply in the interim before regular supplies are established.
Since the start of our Nepalese journey, Aquabox has supplied the following aid packages:
|Year||Aid dispatched||Potential no. of people served|
|2013||100 Gold boxes||600|
|2014||200 Gold boxes||1200|
|2015||680 Gold boxes|
40 Community filters
16 000 (water supply)
|2016||520 Gold boxes||3120|
|2018||200 Gold boxes|
12 Community filters
4800 (water supply)
|2019||460 Gold boxes||2760|
|2020||180 Gold planned shipment|
Aquabox want to do more. Can you help us raise much-needed funds?
To find out more go to www.aquabox.org and their Facebook page.