Nearly twelve hundred Tibetan refugees provided with Safe Drinking water in the past ten days. Lha staff and volunteers recently returned from spending the weekend on 4th May 2013 in the Bir Tibetan settlement, located three hours away in the Dharamsala, where they were successful in installing our sixth drinking water filtration unit. It was placed at the Central Tibetan Administration’s (CTA) Sambhota Tibet School in Bir/Chuatra. The unit was located adjacent to the kitchen which serves the three hundred and fifteen students who must board there because they live in such remote settlements. It takes five days travel from the school to their homes so they only get to make that trip to see their families about once every three years; the school is really their “home away from home”. The forty-two staff members at the school, who are also served by the new pure drinking water unit, have expressed their heartfelt gratitude to all of our sponsors who made this wonderful gift of health for their students possible.
A week later, on Monday, May 14th, Lha successfully installed our seventh filtration unit in the Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) School at lower Dharamshala. Most of the seven hundred students and one hundred staff members also are from distant settlements and therefore live on the campus. These young students and their teachers will now have a safe water source as the monsoon season, and its accompanying outbreaks of water-borne disease, approaches here in India.
Lha is still reevaluating the locations of our last two funded filtration units which will soon be installed in a school or monastery. The need for safe drinking water is great in the Tibetan refugee community, and we want to make the best possible choices when deploying our finite resources. We plan to have these last two units installed before the monsoon season starts in earnest. With their installation, the initial Lha Safe Drinking Water Project will have been completed. It is our hope that we will be able to slowly expand the project as we move forward, as new critical sites are identified and as funding can be found. The filtration installations, which can process one hundred liters of pure drinking water per hour, and include a five hundred liter, stainless steel storage tank, cost $2350 (us) per unit. We continue to solicit donations, large and small, to continue this lifesaving work.