Czech Climber returns light to a Nepal village
It is so common today for people to see the misfortune of others and yet turn their head away and just pass by. But yet there are still a few rare people with a caring and compassionate heart who will make a personal effort to address a misfortune they see.
Langtang Ri is so very proud to have assisted two good friends from the Czech Republic, Mr Pavel Bem and Ms Libuse Barkova, who saw Nepali villagers suffering the effects of the 2015 earthquake and took it upon themselves to help. Their help was far above and beyond anything we could have imagined just two people from the other side of the globe could achieve.
The region around the village of Samagoun, about 130km north-west of Kathmandu and high in the Himalaya Mountains near the border with Tibet, was hit hard by the April 2015 earthquake. Many homes were destroyed and families devastated by fatalities and injuries. However the Nepali spirit is strong and the village people gradually rebuilt their homes stone-by-stone and rebuilt their lives as best they could.
The village of Samagoun is home to just a few hundred people who make a living from grazing livestock and assisting trekking and mountain climbing groups who visit this remote and difficult to reach region of the Himalayas. Life in such villages is a challenge at the best of times. The winters are long and hard and the summers can be just as challenging as monsoon deluges thunder down from the mountains. But one little luxury the villagers shared was a tiny 35Kw hydroelectric power plant that delivered electric light to many homes. However this one luxury was utterly destroyed by the 2015 earthquake.
In late 2015 Pavel Bem visited Samagoun with his expedition party on its way to climb nearby Mount Manaslu. The expedition was a great success however the plight of the people of Samagoun had a major and last impact on Pavel. On his return to the Czech Republic he continued to ponder their misfortune and think about how he could assist. And assist he certainly did.
After over a year of fund raising and negotiating the support and assistance of many other people and companies Pavel was able to return to Nepal and Samagoun with a new hydro generator and ancillary equipment and skilled technicians. Langtang Ri assisted with getting the imported equipment through the tortuous paths of the Nepal import bureaucracy. In mid-October Langtang Ri then helped coordinate the helicopter logistics to get Pavel, Libuse, the technical team and new generator equipment up to the village. After some fantastic effort by Pavel and the team the village of Samagoun once again has an operating micro-hydropower system and the lights have come on again in people’s homes.
The power of a caring human spirit is immeasurable in the good that it can do for others. Everyone at Langtang Ri and Samagoun village say a quiet prayer of thank you to Pavel Bem and Libuse Barkova. There are still good and caring people in the world. Thank you Pavel. Thank you Libuse.