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PICTURES: Evanton man takes on 50km walk – with 20kg of water on his back – to bring fresh water to village in Nepal under project championed by Bimiri Foundation


By Imogen James

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He is carrying the basket locals use to store water.
He is carrying the basket locals use to store water.

AN Evanton man is walking 50km to bring fresh water to a village in Nepal.

Ian Bent, 37, from Evanton, is walking 50km to help continue the work of his charity, The Bimiri Foundation.

He is joined by locals and friends. They have raised more than £2500 so far.

Mr Bent is carrying 20kg of water on his walk in a basket from Bimiri to Kathmandu, to show the suffering villagers go through to access water.

The walk, which he hopes will take three days, will end at the office of the minister of water supply and sanitation.

This will hopefully bring the attention to those who can make a real difference in the rural community.

The children of the village. Women and girls now no longer have to walk far for their water every day.
The children of the village. Women and girls now no longer have to walk far for their water every day.

The foundation was set up in 2015 by Mr Bent, who was tired of seeing his friends in Bimiri suffering.

Ian was motivated to start this project because of his close friend and project manager Nil Badur Tamang, who sadly passed away 2 years ago. Mr Bent said: "I was in the hospital when he died and promised him I'd finish the work he started moments before he passed.

"He was a selfless soul and spent the last years of his life working really hard to bring water to his village. I intent to keep my promise to my dear friend Behtman."

Ian in the village on a trip.
Ian in the village on a trip.

Mr Bent first met the locals in 2008 when he was travelling India, and has been back continuously ever since.

The women and children of the village had to walk an hour and a half three times a day just to get water for the villagers.

The foundation was originally set up to help build a well, but Mr Bent wanted to push further.

Through sponsored events and fundraising, he has successfully managed to fund a 1.6km pipeline which now supplies fresh water to 18 different taps in the village.

The taps are no further than 50 meters away from any one home.

The locals were helped by engineers and specialists to teach them how to build the pipeline.
The locals were helped by engineers and specialists to teach them how to build the pipeline.

The pipeline was built by the locals, who did the majority of the ground work. Welders and engineers came in to do specialist jobs, and locals listened and learned so they could continue on with the project.

Now the pipeline is in, Mr Bent is continuing the fundraising to supply a tank above the village and a filtration system for the pipeline.

The tank will give villagers 24 hour access to clean water.

These projects are estimated to cost another £26,000.

Villagers using the new taps.
Villagers using the new taps.

Mr Bent's efforts can be viewed on Facebook daily as he livestreams the walk. There are also regular updates of the charity and the work continuing in Bimiri.

Donations can be sent on the JustGiving page for The Bimiri Foundation.


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