Rebuilding lives in Nepal

Ever since the ­catastrophic 2015 ­earthquake shook Nepal, the ­Rotarians of District 3292 were involved in rebuilding and ­rehabilitating the worst affected ­people of this ­Himalayan ­country. One such Rotary initiative was the reconstruction of two ­villages — Chaurbesi and ­Rayobari in ­Kavrepalanchok district — as ­integrated model villages, which were then handed over to the ­villagers on April 11.

PDGs Tirtha Man Sakya (second from left) and Keshav Kunwar (fourth from left) at the ground-breaking ceremony for construction of the houses.

Chaurbesi and Rayobari villages, located about 54 km northeast of ­Kathmandu, were among the worst affected villages of Nepal. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, 318 people died and 1,179 were injured in the earthquake in ­Kavrepalanchok ­district. Besides, 49,933 houses were ­completely destroyed and 23,714 houses were damaged.

“The rehabilitation process was done in three phases,” said IPDG ­Keshav Kunwar. “In the first phase, through our Rotary clubs ­Dhulikhel and Kavre-Banepa, we provided ­immediate relief like food ­buckets, water filters, warm clothes and ­medicines. In the ­second phase 51 ­temporary shelters were built; ­long-term rehabilitation was the final phase where 69 low-cost ­permanent earthquake-resistant houses were ­constructed in the ­villages.” On December 11, 2015, the ­foundation stones for the houses were laid. All the houses complied to the National Reconstruction Authority of Nepal’s standards. Each house had four rooms, a separate toilet and a bathroom.

An earthquake-resistant house built by Rotary.

Water tanks, a pumping machine, public water taps, a multi-purpose community hall, crematorium and an electric generator were ­provided in these model villages. Fifty houses were given bio-gas facility and a three-km road was laid to the ­village. “Sixty villagers were trained in masonry and carpentry, at a cost of $6,200, to build these earthquake-resistant houses,” said Kunwar. In total, the project cost $478,953, of which about $197,400 was funded by the District. The rest of the money came from RC ­Petroskey, D 6290, US, RC Edwardstown, D 9520, Australia and various other NGOs. Rotarians also gave seven ­fruit-bearing saplings to each family to help them in income generation.

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