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California teenager funds clean drinking water for 8,000 people in Nepal

Three years ago, 16-year-old Zachary Wong from Bay Area, California, started a humanitarian project, Water in Nepal (WIN), to provide easier access to clean drinking water for the Nepalese people. Since then, Zachary, now 19-years-old, has led WIN to raise over US $27,000 (£20,659) to fund 20 water-related projects and provide 8,000 rural and urban Nepalese with easier access to clean drinking water.

The water system in Nepal is one of the poorest developed in the world.  Nepal’s Department of Water Supply and Sanitation estimates that only 15% of its country’s population is served with quality drinking water. In response, WIN is bringing together district politicians, local engineers, local NGOs, and the community members to implement large-scale solutions that make a sustainable impact on WIN’s recipient communities.

To date, WIN has completed multiple flagship projects located from within the Kathmandu Valley down to the Salarhi district. These include installing a 35 ft sedimentation tank that lasts for over 100 years in a Godawari village, a 2km pipe distribution system buried underground to transport forest spring water to a hillside school, and a large rainwater harvesting project for a government school that is currently under construction. The project has also distributed over 100 purification filters to families and schools in need.

WIN has reached 11 impoverished government schools, four rural village communities, and five local nonprofit organizations to date.

Zachary Wong said:

Having traveled to Nepal 6 times now, I am still shocked seeing kids my age working in brick kilns instead of attending school or seeing schools that don’t have the money to reliably provide clean drinking water to their students. It is a dreadful fact that Nepalese families still have to worry every day about something as basic and important as water.

Zachary will be traveling to Nepal for his 7th time this summer to implement more water-related projects. The Nepalese communities and social workers whom he has met the last 3 years inspire him to keep working on this project every day and to use the resources at his home to make the biggest impact that he can.

Zachary continued:

WIN’s main approach is to tailor each project to the community’s specific needs to maximize the impact of each dollar. By bringing together all parties in the project’s planning and construction phases, we ensure that the politicians, NGOs, and the community members themselves have ownership over the project, which dramatically increases the infrastructures’ lifespans over the long-term.

Photo: WIN

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