Sadly Simigaon remains cut off but it's a thumbs up for Jhareni School
Himalayan Initiatives continues to work hard to support and fund our partner charity in Nepal, CBSD Nepal. This enabled Kumar (Chairperson CBSD) and his team to distribute relief supplies in Sindhupalchok district and Nele village, Lower Solu Khumbu. Simigaon village, in Dolakha district was badly effected in the first quake and has been cut off by landslides following the second quake. Thankfully no casualties are reported there. It has not been possible to reach the village and our thoughts are with the many villagers left homeless and without support as yet. The CBSD team has 75 tarpaulins ready to be taken in once the route is clear and relatives of the villagers living in Kathmandu are also poised to take in help for their loved ones as soon as it is possible.
Pictured above Kumar gives the thumbs up for Jhareni primary school after it survived the first quake and it is reportedly still OK following the second quake. The school was completed 1 year ago and was built to include quake resistant features. Like many others we are now giving greater thought to what it really means to build for earthquake resistance particularly in a country as poor as Nepal. Kumar informs us that the Nepal Government will be drawing up new building regulations over next few months. We will wait to see those before planning any permanent rebuilding. We are however investigating the potential of earth bag building which is a relatively easy and cheap method using local resources and largely unskilled labour. For more info. see www.earthbagbuilding.com . The existing earthbag buildings in Nepal have proved highly quake resistant including The Small World School in Solu Khumbu.
Meantime we have plans underway for the building of transitional shelters in Nele and Deusa VDC (Village Development Comittee) areas. These will be constructed of bamboo and zinc sheeting (available locally) and could last up to 5 years while the rebuilding of homes takes place. The shelters can be lined with mud and can accomodate the metal stoves recently supplied to Nele (see "current" project page) making it easier for villagers to cook and keep warm. Kumar, Mohan and Mani will be heading to Nele in the next few days to start this work, employing local labour for the construction
Kiran Nepali, a member of the leading Nepalese band Kutumba, has been keeping us updated of the inspiring community relief efforts in which he has played a leading role in Kathmandu and beyond. Relief supplies including tents, tarpaulins, rice and cooking oil have been distributed by local people to communities in a number of locations which include Chargare, Chobar, Kabilas, Thakal Mak near Bhaktapur and Kirtipur.
Himalayan Initiatives will continue to facilitate funding to Kiran and his team through CBSDNepal as it is clear that dedicated citizens such as Kiran, who have not previously been aligned to an NGO, are proving an absolutely vital and extremely effective part of the relief effort. Great credit goes to the efforts of Scottish musician Sharon Hassan in fundraising for Kirans work.