Prof. Sabitri Tripathi, Professor of Chemistry, Nepal Engineering College recently visited Gulariya municipality in Nepal accompanied with Asst. Prof. Anil Sapkota and Jun. Prof. Prakash Bashyal to introduce a ground-breaking technology called Gulper, a manually operated, low-cost, and portable septic tank emptying device. The innovative solution aims to improve sanitation practices in the region by providing a safer and more efficient way to empty septic tanks, thereby protecting groundwater quality and increasing the functionality of treatment plants.

The Brown Gold project, funded by the UK government, is a multidisciplinary collaborative initiative that seeks to address the challenge of sanitation access in rapidly urbanizing areas, particularly for marginalized communities. Gulariya municipality was selected as the Nepal case study site for this project. Unfortunately, current practices in the area reveal that only 8% of faecal sludge (FS) is treated at the treatment plant(TP), while the remainder is emptied manually, putting the health and safety of sanitation workers at risk.

Consequently, Prof. Tripathi recognized the pressing need for a safe and affordable solution and collaborated with mechanical engineers(Dr. Arun Satyal, Prakash Basyal and Anil Sapkota) at Nepal Engineering College to develop the Gulper which is still under construction. She has approached Prof. Michael Templeton from Imperial College London and he sent a Gulper constructed by Jeff Broome to nec.

A workshop was organized on July 5, 2024, in Gulariya where the Gulper brought from Imperial college was tested and a model was developed for safe transportation of FS to the treatment plant. The event brought together over 40 participants from the municipality and professionals in the field, including sanitary workers. The attendees were impressed by the potential of the Gulper technology to improve sanitation practices in Gulariya and praised its potential to create business opportunities in the sanitation sector. During the workshop Prof. Tripathi presented a Shit Flow Diagram report of Gulariya Municipality produced under Brown Gold project with her leadership to the Deputy Mayor Ms. Sabitr Gautam.

The inauguration of the Gulper device was marked by a ceremony led by Deputy Mayor Sabitra Gautam, who emphasized the importance of worker safety and its potential to revolutionize sanitation practices in Gulariya. Similarly, Social Development officer, Mr. Mukund Aryal also emphasized the need of Gulper to the municipality.During the field demonstration, sanitary workers were dressed in personal protective equipment (PPE) as a safety measure, while the emptied sludge was carried to the treatment plant on a rickshaw. Despite heavy rain during the field demonstration, the event was well-attended by stakeholders, with a nearly 50:50 male-to-female ratio among participants.


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