Even after two years Nepal has not fully recovered from the destructive earthquake. People in Need helps Nepalis restore their livelihoods and community infrastructure
Kathmandu (April 24, 2017) – This April marks the two year anniversary of the Gorkha Earthquake, the most destructive earthquake in 80 years to hit Nepal. Due to the disaster more than half a million houses were ruined and hundreds of thousands of people were left without a home. The earthquake affected more than eight million people. Thanks to the immediate intervention of People in Need (PIN), the most vulnerable were delivered basic supplies and materials for the construction of temporary houses just one week after the earthquake. However, now it has been two years and the country has still not fully recovered.
The PIN Nepal team continues to provide reconstruction assistance within the most affected areas. Additionally, the team in Nepal also supports durable solutions for those displaced by landslides and adolescent girls who often suffer disproportionately within disasters. Women and children suffer from increased vulnerability to domestic violence, early marriage and human trafficking because of the impact of the earthquake on families, communities, and livelihoods.
People in Need’s work is currently focused on ensuring that the most remote and vulnerable communities affected by the earthquake are not excluded from the reconstruction process. “To this aim, we are currently focused on the sustainable and disaster resilient reconstruction of livelihoods and infrastructures, and are providing employment to thousands of households across three districts,” says Petr Drbohlav, PIN Regional Director for Asia. “In addition to this, we are supporting the creation of durable solutions for earthquake-displaced people. We are also ensuring that girls and adolescents will continue their educations free from abuse, and harm despite the disaster and challenges that many families are experiencing. In cooperation with a local partner organization, Hamro Palo, our team has organized series of workshops called, “Her Turn.” In 2016 we worked with 835 girls and will be working with 2,150 more young women in the future.” (More here http://www.her-turn.org/)
Reconstructing trails and knitting warm clothing
It was April 2016, when PIN with support from European Union through is Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations Department (ECHO) started a project in the villages Kerauja, Barpak and Laprak, the epicentre of the earthquake, to assist to the locals with improving their temporary shelters and by providing cash employment to the affected households. Households from the epicentre were among the most highly effected by the earthquake: “It was the most tragic day ever. People were scared. Everyone was running away and shouting. It was almost impossible to find a shelter,” recalls Srijana Gurung from Laprak. “I believed we all would die soon,” she adds. Two years ago, the family, with one fourteen-year-old daughter, Srijana lost everything. Despite the threat of landslides, they decided to stay on their land. Most of the other families left for temporary camps.
In order to help families recover, PIN provided short-term work opportunities to among the most vulnerable of the earthquake affected. Vulnerable households, such as elderly households, households with disabled family members or households led by single women, were given the opportunity to participate in either a knitting programme or a trail-improvement project.
Within the trail improvement project, participants in the programme were paid to improve local trails within their community, improving their access to services and the safety of the community. Another group of participants were taught how to knit warm clothing, such as socks, mufflers, scarfs and caps. Phul Maya Ghale, 43 and a single mother of two, was her family’s only mean of income, and decided to join the project after having been left with nothing and losing her two-story house during the earthquake. “My husband married another woman and I was left with these two children to take care of. I have to feed them and pay for their education. I don’t want to express my problems in front of my children,” she says. Thanks to the knitting project, she was given the skills to knit warm clothes for her kids and earn some money. It was a unique opportunity for her to participate in the project because single-women parents are often excluded from these projects. “Usually the development projects that came to the village focused on men or very strong women. But this knitting project was for us,” Ghale stated. The knitting project has employed 200 women so far, and their products have been distributed among vulnerable households of the community – households with elderly or disabled family members or young children.
125 kilometres of trails, work and income for 1,800 people
Another project began last year focused on reconstruction of trails damaged by the earthquake. The project is currently employing over 1,800 workers from the local community to rehabilitate 125 kilometres of trails across highly remote areas of the Himalayas.
The project funded by UK aid from the UK government provides work to female-headed households, families with limited sources of income, pregnant and lactating women, elderly and people living with disabilities from the community. Most worker’s homes were severely damaged or destroyed in the earthquake. The money that workers earn from the project can be spent to help rebuild their homes, restart their livelihoods and take care of their basic needs. Over 44,000 people use and rely on the trail networks to travel to health posts, schools, and markets and all of the areas have limited or no road access.
Other on-going projects include the support for a national strategy to provide durable solutions to displaced families and families threatened by seasonal landslides. The project, also supported by UK aid, and implemented in partnership with Oxfam, is currently working with over 2,600 households who were displaced due to geological disaster triggered by the earthquake.
People in Need will continue their work in Nepal. “In the coming year we will continue to build upon our work with the most vulnerable as well as all victims of this earthquake in order to support the return and resettlement of those displaced from their households,” says PIN Nepal Country Director Daniel Coyle. “And also we will work more with the newly elected local governments in order to empower them to lead the reconstruction process,” he adds.
People in Need in Nepal
On April 25, 2015 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, with multiple large aftershocks, almost 9,000 were left dead and 22,000 wounded. Hundreds of thousands of people were left without a home. People in Need participated in the provision of immediate humanitarian aid in the country. The organization launched the fundraising campaign SOS Nepal in order to help the victims of the earthquake, which gathered 33,300,000 CZK (1,36 million USD).
The aid in Nepal will be not possible without generous support of UK aid from the UK government, European Union through is Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations Department (ECHO), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, People in Need Club of Friends, the endowment fund of the Czech Radio as well as Charity fund of Avast. Further thanks go out to international partnerships with organizations as OXFAM and CARE, and People in Need’s local partners within Nepal, PHASE Nepal, Hamro Palo, and Apeiron. People in Need wants to thank all the donors who have contributed to the aid efforts in Nepal.
For more information, please contact:
Petr Drbohlav, PIN Regional Director for Asia, +420 724 329 285 firstname.lastname@example.org