A devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on 25 April 2015, followed just 18 days later by a second large earthquake. Almost 9,000 people lost their lives, over 600,000 homes were destroyed, and key infrastructure such as schools, health facilities, temples and roads was severely damaged.
Thanks to public donations and the New Zealand Aid Programme, we were able to respond quickly to provide emergency aid including materials for shelter and to set up temporary learning classrooms for affected communities in the Everest region.
The focus of the Himalayan Trust is now on rebuild and recovery. Over the next two to three years, we will focus on building seismically-strengthened school facilities, and bringing skills and training to help local communities recover. In total, Himalayan Trust supporters are funding the rebuild and repair of over 180 classrooms, as well as hostels and toilet blocks, at 33 schools across the Everest region. All the buildings will meet the latest seismic building codes.
Rebuild construction work is in progress at 11 schools and the repair and refit work is underway at a further 6 schools. The walls are now being constructed at several of the rebuild sites and at others, the foundations are complete.
The Himalayan Trust team are working in partnership with several local organisations including Himalayan Trust Nepal, REEDNepal, Mahendra Jyoti Higher Secondary School Rebuild Committee, and Action For Nepal.
Our immediate priority was to provide emergency aid including materials for shelter and to set up temporary learning classrooms for affected communities in the Everest region. Our response meant that over 6000 school children were back in class just three weeks after the second earthquake. After a disaster like this, it’s vital to get kids back to school as quickly in an effort to restore normal life and stability, and a way to help them cope with fear and loss. We provided training for teachers in how to support traumatised children, and provided disaster preparedness training for children and teachers in the Solukhumbu District. We also funded the construction of 31 emergency homes for families who lost everything in the earthquakes
The Himalayan Trust funded 31 emergency homes for families who lost everything in the earthquakes
When all the homes in the village of Thulo Gumela were destroyed, the Baraili family received a relief home from the Himalayan Trust.
“When it was the rainy season our four children were able to sleep in the relief house and stay warm and dry. I’m just so happy, I have a very big heart for the help that the Himalayan Trust has given us,” said Padam Baraili.
The rebuild and recovery programme is now in progress and will see the rebuild of 120 classrooms, teachers’ quarters, student hostels and toilet blocks at 30 schools, including some of the most remote schools in the Solukhumbu district within the next three years.
The new school classrooms will have lightweight timber-truss roofs supported on reinforced stone-masonry walls. The construction incorporates reinforced-concrete horizontal bands and vertical members into the masonry walls. This design provides seismic resistance, while also maximizing the use of local materials as well as traditional building styles and techniques.
We have established a team of highly skilled and qualified Nepali engineers and building supervisors to manage the multi-site project, supported by New Zealand project manager Howard Iseli.
Local young people will be offered on the job vocational training as part of the rebuild. Skilled tradespeople from Kathmandu and elsewhere will work alongside local people. Not only will this help address the problem of labour shortages, but it will also bring in vital new skills and employment opportunities to the region.
The local community will raise at least 10% of the rebuild cost of the school facilities. Some of this may be provided construction labour or portering equipment and materials to the rebuild sites.
From financial support to labour, consultation and leadership, the whole community play a key role in the rebuild and recovery programme.
Meet Lhakpa Gelzen Sherpa, leader of the “Build Back Better” rebuild project for Chaurikharka High School.
Please donate to help us continue our rebuild work in Nepal. Every contribution, large or small will make a real difference to the communities we work with in the Everest region.