For members of the Aldergrove Rotary Club, a round of golf is more than just a game. It’s a way to make life better for villagers living in poverty in Nepal.
On Sept. 12, when just under 100 duffers and crack golfers alike reached the 19th hole at the annual Katmandu Klassic golf tournament, they marked more than just their score cards. They chalked up another win for the Nepal Water Project.
Gus Hartl, Aldergrove Rotary Club treasurer, announced that the proceeds from this year’s tourney, $4,000, had sent the Club’s $8,000 water project commitment over the top.
For the past 20 years, members of the Aldergrove Rotary Club have supported the Nepal Water Project, a Rotary International initiative that brings water systems, sanitary latrines and smokeless stoves to remote areas of Nepal. Helping save lives and improve living conditions, the Aldergrove Rotary Club has raised a total of $45,000 over the past 12 years to support construction of water systems in some of Nepal’s most remote villages.
In 2013, Aldergrove Rotarians Terry Metcalfe and Jack Nicholson saw first-hand the life-changing results the Nepal Water Project has brought to many Nepalese villages.
“The basis of our work is to provide an adequate water supply,” Metcalfe explains.
Before the construction of the water systems, women and children spent the majority of each day carrying water from remote sources to their homes. Now, where the water systems have been installed, what previously took women six hours each day can now be done in an hour, and often there is enough water for greater farming efforts.
In addition to water systems, Aldergrove Rotary contributes to the cost of sanitary latrines, a by-product of having readily available water, and smokeless stoves, which help prevent eye and lung problems caused from cooking over open fires in the centre of the one-room houses.
Initiated 20 years ago, the Nepal Water Project was a joint enterprise among the Rotary Club of Aldergrove, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), World Neighbours Canada (WNC), TSS (Tamakoshi Sewa Samiti, a Nepalese NGO) and, more recently, the Surrey based CACTES (Caring About Communities Together to Eliminate Struggle).
The Canadians provide funds for materials, TSS provides organization and technical expertise and the villagers provide the labour for construction and maintenance. In 2013, CIDA’s participation in the project ended, but the other organizations continue helping those in need in Nepal to improve the quality of their lives.
Two years ago, the Aldergrove Rotary Club committed to raise $8,000 US toward the $12,000 cost for two new water systems, one in Kyama and one in Jagirgaun. The $4,000 raised at the 2014 Annual Golf Tournament saw this commitment realized.
A Rotary District grant of $4,250, which was awarded to the Aldergrove club, brought the total raised to just over the $12,000 needed to fund the two new systems. In total, 421 individuals in 67 households benefitted from this initiative.
The Club plans to continue its life-changing work in Nepal and looks forward to another successful golf tournament in 2015.