Family, friends, colleagues and LHA supporters:
Please consider contributing to this public health fundraiser organized with the Louisiana Himalaya Association (LHA) and Global Urban Sustainable Center (GUSC). I'm here at the headquarters for LHA in Dharamsala, India. It is the exile home of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and thousands of Tibetan refugees. Since my arrival here I have been working on this project, which will benefit residents and visitors of the area as well as serve as a model for similar areas throughout India. The idea for this project was inspired by a meeting in Dharamsala in November 2022, between LHA president Neil Guidry and GUSC representatives pictured below: president Amar Sawhney with vice president/general secretary Jessica Barnes.
Our goal is to purchase a Mini-Jet Sewer Truck and develop local expertise for its operation to flush hazardous sewer drainage lines. Clogged overflowing sewer systems run off into the streets and neighborhoods, causing major public health hazards here. Overflows often go unaddressed for weeks or months before being cared for. The lower-elevation neighborhoods most impacted are typically on the lower socio-economic scale.
Currently, pushing and twisting a long heavy wire into a manhole is the method used to clear clogs. Although illegal, less financially fortunate men are occasionally sent into the pipes to poke the clogs free which is very dangerous and often deadly.
7 min BBC video on this practice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eG8mi3K4SA
In Delhi and Hyderabad, two more affluent areas of India, sludge trucks are successfully being used. I visited sites in Delhi with Neil Guidry and spoke directly with the operators and managers of these trucks. They are doing a great job!
4 min. video on their success: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhNG-dAkPCg
Following our research trip, we have been working with the commercial engineering division of Tata truck manufacturing. Extensive field research has been conducted to find the most cost-efficient and appropriate truck to fulfill the needs of this mountainous community. The truck will be strong enough to climb mountains and small enough to make its way down narrow alleys. It will break thru clogs while simultaneously cleaning the pipes to prevent future clogs.
Contracts with local municipalities for clearing sewers will provide a sustainable funding stream for the continued operation and maintenance of this truck. Lha Charitable Trust, our Tibetan partner organization in Dharamsala, will help LHA to manage this project. The truck will serve not only Dharamsala but the whole district of Kangra with a population of 1.5 million. GUSC president Amar Sawhney is scheduled to return to Dharamsala for the month of November 2023 to help launch this project and to work with local government leaders on public policies that will help to increase sustainability and social justice.
Your donation will help add to an effective, efficient way to improve the health conditions for thousands of Tibetan refugees as well as tens of thousands of Himalayan residents.
Thanks for your support!
Since 1997, Louisiana Himalaya Association has been successful at using small amounts of seed money to build sustainable and replicable demonstration projects such as this one. For more info on LHA visit https://www.lhainfo.org/
The Global Urban Sustainable Center is dedicated to advancing cross-disciplinary urban-focused research, civic engagement, and community support on issues relevant to living well in cities around the world. For more info on GUSC visit https://www.guscurban.org/