2 years after the earthquake, Rasuwa is on its feet again

Exactly 2 years ago, Nepal was hit by a devastating and deadly earthquake. Soon after the disaster Cordaid started recovery and reconstruction activities in Rasuwa, one of the most impacted districts. What have done in 2 years’ time? Milan Mukhia, Cordaid’s humanitarian coordinator in Nepal, sums up the achievements. “152 permanent shelters have been completed”, he explains. And that’s just a small part of what we’ve done.

Starting a recovery and reconstruction program

On April 25 2015 the Gorkha Eartquake killed 9000 people, flattened entire villages and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. In close coordination with local communities, NGOs, district and government authorities, Cordaid immediately started mapping the impact of the earthquake in Rasuwa district and the immediate needs of the population. It was the start of our community based recovery and reconstruction program, implemented with our local Nepalese partners Lumanti Housing and Parivartan Patra in two mountain communities.

earthquake Nepal disaster risk mapping
Local disaster risk mapping on village level, Rasuwa (© Lumanti)

More than just building houses

So far, 40% of the planned 380 permanent and earthquake proof shelters have been completed. There were a lot of political and contextual hiccups before we could start building the houses. But now that we are making good progress and the rest of the shelters will be built before the end of this year.

Our shelter program entails more than building houses. We have motivated and given back hope to hundreds of desperate people who had lost their homes. By building together, we have sensitized entire communities in using safer construction technologies. Our training sessions in masonry, carpentry, plumbing and house wiring to 300 residents not only accelerated local reconstruction, they also gave a boost to local employment.

We have given back hope to hundreds of desperate people who had lost their homes.

Milan Mukhia, humanitarian coordinator in Nepal

Drinking and farming water

That’s not all. By rehabilitating 41 water schemes we have provided safe drinking water to 2800 families and to 21 schools (reaching some 4000 students and their teachers). And with the people of Rasuwa we have reconstructed 12 irrigation facilities. We even introduced an irrigation lift – the first one in Rasuwa! It serves farming purposes for 142 households and 180 displaced families. As both IDPs and host communities use the water facilities and exchange farming knowledge, the irrigation lift even promotes social cohesion between residents and newcomers.

We even introduced an irrigation lift – the first one in Rasuwa!

Milan Mukhia, humanitarian coordinator in Nepal

Over 1200 individuals received agricultural and livestock trainings, allowing them to increase their income. And 180 families have taken up tomato farming – a new crop for them. Cordaid is supporting them in bringing their produce to the market. After the distribution of paddy, ginger, maize and onion seeds and the irrigation systems restored, local farmers have now fully resumed farming.

Needs of the marginalized addressed

In short, our shelter and livelihood activities allowed entire communities whose lives were shattered after the earthquake to get up on their feet again and become more self-reliant and sustainable. Poor, marginalized, landless and often homeless people’s voices have been heard and their needs have been addressed. And Cordaid’s resilience and recovery approach has been widely endorsed by the Nepalese government.

Watch this video of Cordaid’s work in Rasuwa, Nepal:

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