Shelter and water for earthquake victims in Nepal

by DCWC Community Hospital
Shelter and water for earthquake victims in Nepal
Shelter and water for earthquake victims in Nepal
Shelter and water for earthquake victims in Nepal
Shelter and water for earthquake victims in Nepal
Shelter and water for earthquake victims in Nepal
Shelter and water for earthquake victims in Nepal
Shelter and water for earthquake victims in Nepal
Shelter and water for earthquake victims in Nepal
New 'temporary permanent' dwelling in Kavre
New 'temporary permanent' dwelling in Kavre
Dear supporters of the SHELTER AND WATER FOR EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS IN NEPAL project. This will be our final report before closing this project for lack of ongoing funding. This does not mean, however, that our rebuilding efforts will stop. We will continue with the construction of ‘temporary/permanent’ shelters as long as our funds permit.
There are many other NGOs whose main purpose is to help Nepalis rebuild. These efforts are scattered but all avoid having to go through government channels, which have proven to be ineffective and corrupt.  In some areas the government has provided $200 per household to rebuild, but even those disbursements are sporadic.  
As of this date the newly created Government Reconstruction Agency has approved  z e r o  projects and disbursed hardly any of the substantial sums of aid money that were pledged by countries all over the world after the earthquakes.  It now looks like the majority of people who lost their homes and are living in make shift dwellings of sticks and plastic tarps will have to do so for at least another monsoon season and most likely the next winter.  Many families also are hesitant to start rebuilding because the government announced that reconstruction would have to conform to new, improved building codes. However, these have not been worked out yet and are one more reason why progress is stifled. 
Thanks to your support and a generous grant from Global Giving, to date our team at the DCWC has been able to help 167 families move into new shelters. While these are seen as ‘temporary/permanent’ structures, they are seismically sound, can last many years and could be integrated into new construction should a family be able to rebuild an earthquake safe traditional stone house at a later date. 
Given all of the above information we have decided to refocus our efforts on the fundraising for our main project on Global Giving, the Rajbash Communite Hospital and its continued operation and support.  This hospital (also damaged during the earthquakes but now repaired and fully operational) supports a full time Nepali doctor, nurses, midwives and an outreach service. It provides basic medical services to a large number of subsistence farming families in the Nagre Gagarche/Sindhupalchok areas. Immediately after the earthquakes some of our staff went to organizing relief in the surrounding communities. Later they were instrumental in organizing the rebuilding project that you have been supporting.  Now, however, it is time for us to refocus on our hospital and the healthcare for people in remote areas.  To learn more about Rajbash Hospital and for continued support for DCWC go to Global Giving Project #14750 (Lifesaving healthcare for remote farming villages).
Should you want to read more about the current situation in Nepal please go to this link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3551153/Virtually-no-govt-rebuilding-1-year-Nepal-quake.html.
Thank you for your generosity and we hope to see you again on our hospital site.
New home for Prem and his family
New home for Prem and his family
One more family housed
One more family housed
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New home for family in Nagre Gagarche
New home for family in Nagre Gagarche

The building of temporary shelters has been a lifesaver for so many Nepali villagers whose homes were demolished in last year's earthquakes.  Some still live in lean to’s or at the edge of unsafe damaged homes, with tarps for walls. These insecure, unhealthy environments can lead  to sickness , impoverishment, and despair. The devastation to the communities can’t be overstated. A dry environment, protected also from the wind and the elements provides a safe, secure haven to begin to recover, and people can then face other challenges. Here is the story of one village family as told by a member of our staff:

"This 47 year old woman is an inhabitant of Nagre Gagarche VDC-9, Duti. At April 25 she was working in the field and everything was moving and could not stand up and sat down with her husband Tul and children and in the next shake she was at home with her children and she says that she was so afraid and could not walk out because her children was sleeping upstairs and with a big fear she had brought her children outside then stones of wall was falling down. After that she stayed outside with tarpaulin tent given by DCWC but faced many trouble to stay in the tent. Now we could get materials for temporary shelter from DCWC and we did other works to build a temporary shelter. She said that it is very good now and warm in this winter otherwise would be very bad. Now she has forgotten her trouble before due to earthquake and normalizing their life with family."

To date 167 shelters have been completed and more are in the process of being constructed.    The  floor plan can be adapted to many materials. A simple rock and mud foundation wall, with embedded wood post and beam construction, provides the initial structure. The siding can then be wood, bamboo, plastic, or corrugated tin/iron.  Some timbers, rock, and some of the corrugated material can be salvaged from devastated old homes.  Most villagers have chosen these types of materials to implement the basic shelter floor plan.  Workshops were given to demonstrate construction techniques and expert guidance was given during the construction.   Similar to a ‘barn raising”,  groups in the community form to help build each others’ structures.  This coming together to build is helping to reignite a sense of community and belonging.

Lured by the promise of good jobs and high pay, many of the healthy young men have left the villages and their families to go to the Middle East.   In their attempt to support their families, the wife is left to care for the household, the children, the raising of some food, and the construction of shelter.  Many of the seed stores were destroyed during the quakes as well and most fields ended up lying fallow.  Parts of the water system were also damaged and made the water unfit for consumption.  A volunteer water expert from France  evaluated the situation and laid out a feasible plan for repair that is now being implemented. 

Permanent housing:  That is another story.  The government is attempting to set guidelines for safe construction, but how those will be implemented in remote villages is a big question.  International aid for reconstruction has yet to be released to the villages.  In Kavre people feel they cannot count on the government to help them.  It therefore is even more important  to continue building  “temporary“ structures for now. 

Much has been written in the press about government corruption,  the inept administration of aid to Nepal, and how little actually gets to the remote countryside.  Unfortunately much of it is correct. This is why it is so important to support vetted local Nepali NGO’s that are embedded in their communities and who know what needs to be done for whom. Funds raised from our “Earthquake Relief” fundraiser and generous grants from Global Giving made it possible for DCWC, our local Nepali NGO,  to start building shelters for people months ago. However, the need for more housing is huge, and until a plan can be created to implement long term housing, we will continue to create 'temporary homes' that allow families to return to some sense of comfort and normality.

We are grateful to all of you who have helped to support this devastated community.  

Interior of a 'temporary shelter'
Interior of a 'temporary shelter'
'Temporary shelter', opposite wall
'Temporary shelter', opposite wall
Woodsided temporary shelter
Woodsided temporary shelter
Village woman receiving stipend to buy door
Village woman receiving stipend to buy door

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Kharpani school, inaugurated April 2009
Kharpani school, inaugurated April 2009

‘Today I just over look picture from 2009 when we opened school at Kharpai (remote Nepal). Here is some picture of before earthquake and after earthquake.

During school opening ceremony showed many children and their parents smile on face.

Where to go these children to study?  What will be their future?’

Akka Lama, Director of DCWC (Development of Children and Women Center) charity, Nepal

As I am sitting by a warm fire in my California home on this beautiful, rainy, pre-christmas day, counting my blessings, Akka’s comment takes me back to our beloved, tormented Nepal.

The most recent news tell me that for nearly three months now the country has practically been locked down. Disagreements over the newly signed constitution have pitted various populations against each other, more than 50 people were killed in the ensuing riots, and the government of India, also unhappy with parts of this new constitution, has declared a de facto embargo of petrol products and many other important goods to Nepal, leading to shortages of fuel, rice and many other necessities of everyday life. Schools are closed and transportation infrastructure paralyzed. Border posts between Nepal and India are either closed or unsafe to cross. Some expressed hope that China might come to the rescue, however the logistics involved appear so complicated that it could take many months before goods from Nepal’s norther neighbor could reach the country. 

Unicef estimates there are over 3 million children under 5 yrs. in Nepal who are at risk for disease or starvation. Thousands of families are still living in temporary shelters and we’ve heard many reports of families taking a child to a monastery because they are unable to care for him/her any longer.  

News of the catastrophic earthquakes last Spring has long been eclipsed by so many other global calamities that all deserve our attention. However, our brothers and sisters in Nepal are living the resulting loss and hardship of this natural disaster every day - and they will for years to come. With remarkable resilience in the face of unimaginable destruction they have rallied, sorted through the piles of rubble, helped each other to make new shelters, tried to establish some normalcy.  With the recent developments they now have the additional worry about food shortages, hunger and malnutrition as well.

Your generous donations to our earthquake relief project enabled DCWC to provide immediate relief to thousands in the hard hit Kavre/Nagre Gagarche area. Also with your help, and generous grants provided by Global Giving, DCWC has repaired and rebuilt many schools. They are also working hard to reach their goal of building 500 new shelters for families who have lost their homes in the quakes. As of this writing more than 150 structures have been completed. The progress made is impressive, but, as you can see from the attached pictures and Akka’s note, much remains to be done.

Thinking about the many challenges Nepal is facing can be overwhelming, but donating today is something very specific you can do to help Nepal’s people. Please make your donation to Global Giving, Project # 21975, now and help us support Nepal’s people in their time of need. 

With sincere wishes for a peaceful holiday season,

Karin Reibel,

Project Leader for DCWC projects

Kharpani students at inauguration of their school
Kharpani students at inauguration of their school
Inaugural plaque
Inaugural plaque
Kharpani school post earthquake 2015
Kharpani school post earthquake 2015

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Organization Information

DCWC Community Hospital

Location: Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal - Nepal
Website:
Project Leader:
Karin Reibel
Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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