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As in all countries, Nepal and the Khumbu has its own traditional architecture, however in 2015 a catastrophic earthquake hit Nepal destroying and severely damaging many of the original houses. During the rebuilding operation construction methods which are relatively inexpensive and relatively safe in an earthquake have often being used, resulting in more timber framed buildings clad in flat sheet metal with profiled tin roofs. More recently prefabricated sectional buildings are appearing.

As a result the character of some of the villages is changing, with many of the small old traditional buildings being removed and replaced with large modern ones, which are often out of character and not sympathetic to the local environment.

There are many local people who value their traditional heritage and would like to see that continued. The skill level of many local crafts people is outstanding. There are wonderful carpenters and stone masons who take great pride in their work and it is a joy to see and a privilege to visit their building sites.

There are local people living in houses that their families have been in for generations. Some are in great condition and others are not. Some families would like to repair and restore their properties but do not have the financial resources to do so. In these cases if we had the resources to assist we would.

Others live in buildings that they would like to improve and may well have the financial resources to do so but they may not have the knowledge of insulation, secondary glazing, vapour barriers etc that have become common place in the West in recent years. We would like to help with this too, passing on our knowledge to their builders. 



In 2015 an earthquake in Nepal caused a devastating avalanche to sweep through Everest Base Camp killing three Sherpas who were friends and colleagues. Not only did these Sherpas leave behind wives and children, but their homes were also destroyed in the earthquake. 

We raised money to assist these families to rebuild their properties and to help the Sherpas widows and children with immediate living costs. In the longterm we have been assisting the families to create an income for themselves through small business development. 

At present we have a small amount of remaining funds from our original fundraising in 2015. This was donated for the specific purpose of supporting the bereaved families and those whose properties were severely damaged. We will introduce these funds to the Khumbu Sherpa Project, ring fencing them to ensure they are used for their intended purpose.



We have hosted lodge operators from the Khumbu at The Bothy Coffee Shop in Braemar with assistance from Braemar Mountain Sports Ltd. Our visitors found that understanding the expectations of Western hill walkers and climbers was very useful. They saw the “coffee and cake” ritual after a days walk as a new business opportunity! Food hygiene, customer service, marketing and basic accounting were also addressed.

In the Khumbu there is some fantastic coffee and cake! Many places operate at a very high standard and some of the apple pie is the best in the world. However, just as in Scotland, a few could do better. Introducing simple storage and display solutions like polycarbonate display domes is a cheap and easy fix for a few places. We currently have 40 cake domes waiting to go out to the lodges of the Khumbu!



As in so many places plastic is currently a problem in the Khumbu. Most visitors buy bottled water and the disposal of these bottles has become a big challenge. Many are discarded by the wayside and others are burnt on bonfires. The sale of soft drinks has previously been an important source of income for the smallest businesses, but as a result of the plastic problem there is now a ban on the import of 500 ml soft drink bottles into the National Park.

Many lodge owners are trying to improve their tourist standards to meet Western expectations and to improve their own financial situations. One of the ways of doing this is to better insulate their lodges thus making them warmer and more energy efficient. However building insulation is manufactured in India, imported to Kathmandu and then has to be carried by porter for a week to the highest settlements. As a result it is prohibitively expensive for most local people to use.

Working with local not for profit NGO, the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee in Namche Bazaar we are hoping to introduce a solution in the form of a machine that will turn the waste plastic into polyester wool. The machine weighs about 350 kg and is the size of a large fridge. It requires a 3 kw power supply to work and we can get that from the hydro scheme at Namche Bazaar.

It’s a simple process and polyester wool is a great insulator. We are currently seeking funding for this project.

Aims: News
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