April 25 marks the two year anniversary of the devastating Nepal earthquake. We take a look back at what we’ve been able to achieve with the generosity of our supporters, from the emergency response to permanent reconstruction.
On April 25th and May 12th, 2015, devastating earthquakes with recorded magnitudes of 7.8 and 6.8, respectively, hit Nepal leaving more than 8,790 people dead and around 22,300 injured. These two major quakes were followed by hundreds of aftershocks ranging between 4 and 6 on the Richter scale. In total, more than 498,852 houses were destroyed and more than 256,697 houses were partially damaged. To add to this, Nepal then endured nearly a year of fuel and material shortages and civil unrest.
Over 700,000 homes were destroyed or damaged by the earthquakes.
Despite the challenges faced, with the help of our committed supporters we have been able to help families in Nepal recover and rebuild.
In the immediate aftermath of the first earthquake, Habitat for Humanity supported earthquake-affected families to clear the rubble and mobilised local volunteers to help families retrieve their belongings out of the rubble and clear the sites and roads.
Habitat for Humanity also supported families through temporary shelters and “winterisation” kits to help remote communities prepare for the colder months.
Temporary shelter kits provided an immediate housing solution for families who lost everything
These rescue and relief phases were followed by a long term recovery program which has focused on strengthening communities self-coping capacity, increasing their disaster resilience and empowering them by providing access to safer housing solutions. Here’s what we’ve achieved together through our rebuilding program:
- Working in Kavre, one of the worse affect areas, Habitat for Humanity has built 87 permanent homes. Last Tuesday, Habitat Nepal held a celebration in the community to celebrate the completion of the homes. The houses are one floor – but with a foundation and structure that could eventually support a second storey. All homes are now occupied by families.
- Habitat has worked with the community to widen walkways and entry roads – and moved some of the families to new land adjacent to this community – to ensure proper community space. The rubble from their old houses was used to construct the new roads and walkways.
- 55 community members have been trained as certified masons. As a result, many have also been able to secure additional family income, whereas before the community relied solely on agriculture.
- The community members contributed over 50,000 hours of volunteer time in rebuilding their community – roads, walkways, and houses. This time has built physical structures but more importantly – it has built hope, dignity, and community cooperation.
Bhim and his family are looking forward to many happy years in their new home.