Project Stories:

250 new houses for affected families

by Sebastian Schilling/LKO, 2016/02/09

Sebastian Schilling acts as coordinator for humedica in Nepal and organises on site the planning and implementation of the relief measures after the severe earthquake last year. He is particularly concerned with the topic reconstruction:

„Reconstruction is in full progress“

„Nine months have passed since the earth in Nepal shook. Many people were injured or lost their lives in the ruins. At the same time the catastrophe destroyed about a million houses and drove innumerable people into homelessness.

International and national aid agencies such as humedica were on site shortly afterwards, secured the medical emergency aid and provided temporary accommodation. In contrast to this fast and efficient emergency supply the reconstruction of the permanent homes is a story full of complications. But since a few weeks there are also signs of hope.

Together with the aid organisation Hoffnungszeichen and the local partner Lumantihumedica decided shortly after the earthquake to support 250 affected families from the municipality Dalchoki, situated 2.000 above sea level, in the reconstruction of their destroyed houses.

In the beginning the heavy monsoon rain was the greatest challenge, then it was the Indian economic blockade causing the lack of fuel as well as of many building materials, which delayed the project launch.

There were also many internal political tensions impacting on the question, which party would appoint the minister responsible for the reconstruction. This was an essential question for our work, because this minister was meant to have the sole authority to approve house construction projects. Two months ago now the respective minister finally got appointed and we could start our reconstruction aid in spite of the continuing Indian border blockades.

Since then a lot has been happening: together with the village community the 250 poorest families in Dalchoki have been chosen, building sites have been marked and respective plans have been designed. To make sure that the new houses are really earthquake-proof the construction workers were trained by national and international experts and were awarded a government recognised certificate upon completion.

In the middle of January reconstruction started and first foundations were laid. The construction site is controlled by our partner organisation Lumanti, whose employees also provide support and advise for the inhabitants. Of their own accord the village people have formed a reconstruction committee to ensure equal treatment of the 250 families.

Naturally it will still take some time till all families will be able to move into their new houses, but the important first steps are taken by now. The reconstruction is fully under way.”

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