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Nepal earthquake rebuild

Reaching remote schools

Reaching remote schools

Two years on from the devastating series of earthquakes that struck Nepal in April 2015, Himalayan Trust supporters have helped fund the rebuild and repair of more than 90 classrooms and toilet blocks in the Everest region. This year, our local partner teams plan to rebuild a further 70 classrooms, completing a total of 160 seismic-strengthened classrooms by the end of 2017.

Our particular focus this year will be on reaching some of the most remote schools in this mountainous region.

Steep tracks and heavy loads

There are eight schools that will be a particular logistical challenge.

“Most of the schools that we are constructing with our local partner Himalayan Trust Nepal this year are in very remote areas,” says Howard Iseli, Himalayan Trust Programme Manager.

“At these remote sites, all the building materials will need to be carried in on the backs of porters, with the help of mules at some of the lower altitude sites.

“All the porterage routes will be steep and often involve several days of walking. We are aiming to get all the materials to the sites ready to start building before the onset of this year’s monsoon.”

Logistical challenges

The eight remote schools are grouped into the upper and lower schools.

The upper schools are in Khumjung, Thame, Monjo and Phortse. The materials for these four schools will be brought by helicopter and then carried by porters for the final stretch up to the sites.

For the lower schools at Pelmang, Soluban, Bumburi and Buksa, the building materials can be taken by tractor to the road ends near Taksindu and Dibli. From there, the materials will need to be carried by porters and mules.

For these lower altitude schools, mules can help carry materials like bags of cement. But the more awkward-shaped materials like sheets of corrugated iron and reinforcing steel will need to be carried by people.

Most of the schools will need a minimum of 10 porters to help carry materials, with some of these making the trip several times.

Map of the eight remote schools

 Logistics: in numbers

  • 572 Total porter days (30-35kg average porter load)
  • 1294 Total mule days  (60kg average mule load)
  • 195 Helicopter trips (650kg per trip)
  • 95 Tractor trips (1,000kg per trip)
  • 15 Truck trips (10,000kg per trip)

Great expectations in the classroom

“But building the schools is merely a means to an end,” says Himalayan Trust General Manager Prue Smith. “What we really want is to see children learning and fulfilling their potential inside the classrooms. That’s why the Himalayan Trust has long supported initiatives to improve the quality of education in the region as well.”

Thank you to everyone who supported the Nepal Earthquake Rebuild Appeal for making this work possible and helping communities in Nepal to build back better.