2015 has been really interesting with some great work and projects. Time to catch up on it here before the end of the year, it’s been way too long since my last post…
Nepal’s first earthquake in April this year struck five days before we were meant to be in the Far Western Development Region shooting a short film for Eneco, the Dutch energy company. Eneco’s partner organisation in Nepal, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, evacuated all of their staff from Kathmandu. My old friend and expedition leader Dan Mazur www.summitclimb.com was pinned down at Camp 2 with clients on Mt. Everest, tweeting from a sat phone and making headlines in British newspapers because there were so few sources of real time news from Everest. All climbers were evacuated safely from Everest and the mountain was shut.
Two weeks later, thinking our film work had been cancelled, SNV got in touch with Mark Meyrick, my friend and Eneco client, saying their staff were back in Kathmandu, the rainy season was reasonably dry so far and let’s shoot. We arrived in Kathmandu and many public spaces were tented camps but we were glad to see that people seemed to be recovering.
The film documents efforts to manufacture and distribute improved wood-burning cookstoves in the poorest area of the country, Far Western Development Region. The stoves burn less wood and emit less smoke, replacing traditional mud stoves, resulting in reduced respiratory problems and reduced deforestation. The quakes had not affected this region and that is fortunate because here, as in affected areas closer to Kathmandu, relief work would have been nearly impossible in the most remote mountain communities.