Student Reflection – Bobbie Bayley on Nepal

January 7th, 2020

Bobbie Bayley reflects on the 2019 Nepal Sanitation Studio

Bobbie Bayley // Bachelor of Architecture graduate from the University of Newcastle

Cartoon of the Nepal Sanitation Studio 2019 by Bobbie Bayley

A whirlwind journey to Nepal to learn about sanitation that put our architectural skills to good use outside of the theoretical classroom.

A day looking at Kathmandu sights, predominantly the beautiful craftsmanship of temples before meeting on ground Director Bishnu and Driver Dorje. We drove three hours to Melamchi where the plumbing store was and sat for 3 hours with the plumbers organising all of the items needed to install toilets, handwashing and water supply to the newly built toilet facilities in two villages, Lapse and Pancha Kanya.

Once all the nipples and elbows were counted we drove to the first village, Lapse and got to work. We met the local building team and under the direction of the plumbers, helped to start digging, measuring and marking out installing the toilet pans (A), hand washing facilities (B), and the Septic Tank and Soakage Pit (C). This took four days working with the local team and was repeated at the second village.
The architecture students were put to the hard task by Healthabitat Director David Donald of creating a maintenance schedule and equipping a toolbox and taking it to 2018 toilet village project in Thangpaldhap to test. Issues of where the document wasn’t working or what tools were missing were analysed by the students, the information translated into Nepalese, the documents finalised and distributed out to four villages.

Completed toilet at a school in Nepal in high use. Note, brick walkway to reduce mud tracking into septic tank, clothes hooks on the back of door for safe storage of clothes whilst changing, secure lock on the door for privacy, natural light and ventilation into toilet, hard render to hand washing area for easy cleaning and durability. The maintenance checklist aims to ensure the toilets continue to function at a high level.

This work was to ensure that a program of planned maintenance is regularly carried out on the facilities with appropriate tools at hand for fixing and replacing items to ensure the longevity of the program.

Finishing our work at the second village we made our way back to Kathmandu stopping at Melamchi for a night where David and the plumbers had organized a plumbing trivia night, with first prize a Brass Bib Cock.

We were blessed for our departure and departed for home.