More than 9,000 lives in Nepal were lost, and reports indicated there were several million people without homes, or who were frightened to stay in damaged houses. Shelter, water and food were scarce, and significant religious monuments were reduced to rubble. The Nepali government struggled with minimal resources and infrastructure, and foreign aid organisations also struggled to get assistance to those in need.
Project Villages Damaged
The Village Development Project completed sanitation works in 3 villages since 2007 – Bhattedanda, Arubot and Dandagaun.
In Bhattedanda village nearly 100 homes were destroyed or badly damaged. There were 15 toilets with some damage, mainly from falling stones, however the rest survived intact. According to Prem from Bhattedanda village, the villagers
“put their things in toilet and they make locked and they sleep in plastic camp“.
Many homes appeared to be intact however closer inspection revealed cracks and damage that rendered the dwelling unsafe, and which, in most cases, will require replacement.
Bishnu Shrestha the program manager compiled some photo reports which show some of the extent of the damage – report 1 and report 2.
Friends and others
One friend lost his house and all possessions. The family had no food and was living in a tent. His words echoed the frustrations and helplessness felt by many:
“we have no idea what to do and how long we’ll stay like this“.
Another friend lost his father in law, with his mother taken to hospital. However he himself continued to work in his clinic, providing free dental care to earthquake victims.
Relief visit May 2015
TT (Sandra Meihubers) and Healthabitat (Paul Pholeros) had been planning to work on the next stage of the new project in Bahunepati village during their visit to Nepal in May 2015. However the focus of the trip turned to damage assessment and recovery in the damaged villages.
Fortunately no lives were lost in the project villages. TT and HH worked with the villagers to distribute “tin sheets” for temporary house shelters, and kitchen/cooking areas. Household kits were also distributed – bucket, soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, cooking items, bedlinen and mosquito nets. Each household in Bhattedanda village received a small metal stove, so that cooking could be contained and safe.
In total the relief program supplied 90 kitchen shelters, 60 temporary house shelters, 180 household packs and 90 stoves. At the new project site of Shree Jalapadevi school in Bahunepati, the program provided funds to build 4 temporary classrooms while the school recovered from quake damage.
Next steps – from September 2015
Rebuilding the economy will be vital, and employment in the projects provides income as well as skills to the project workers. Paul Pholeros worked with partners to design methods of strengthening houses to withstand earthquakes.