Even a small project in such a remote place requires a lot of money due to the complicated logistics inevitably involved. Since we had already diverted some of the school construction funds to the Tipling water project, we felt uncomfortable about using the funds yet again for another project. Fortunately, several days after finishing the previous project, Roman met Mick Sullivan, an Australian tour guide who runs a relief project called “Remote Village”, on a high pass enroute to Tipling.
Mick was the first foreigner not affiliated with FI who visited the valley during the period when Roman was there. Naturally their conversation revolved around the needs of Tipling and the surrounding villages. Mick wanted to fund a small water project. Roman had just such a project in mind. Right there, sitting by the fire in a smoke-filled kitchen of a tiny lodge they discussed the possibility of cooperation. Then they parted ways. Roman went down towards Kathmandu, Mick continued the climb up to Tipling. A week later in Kathmandu we signed an agreement: Remote Village offered to pay for the materials, while FI was to take care of the technical supervision, local labour, volunteers and transportation expenses (the cost of which is often greater than the cost of materials themselves). We gratefully accepted Mick’s contribution. We were once again able to make use of our camp and a small workshop which we had already paid for and which we had hauled up the mountains. We were also able to contribute our understanding of the local situation accumulated in the previous months – a very valuable asset which we had lacked at the start of our work in Tipling.
The transportation of the metal pipes into the valley was not easy. The trail to Kamigaun is often very narrow and dangerous, and it was difficult to find porters willing to carry these 6 meter long pipes. The initial plan was to repair the existing water pipes, but eventually a whole new system was created because the villagers realised that this was a much better solution. They suggested it themselves and contributed most of the needed plastic pipes. Pipes are a valuable commodity and the people’s willingness to donate them indicates how desperate they were for water. They also volunteered to dig the 650m long trench.