Nepal Earthquake 2015 – Relief Fund Update #4

This week we are happy to report that we delivered 40 temporary shelter kits to the small village of Bhanjyang, near the larger village of Mudkhu in the Goldhunga V.D.C. (‘Village Development Committee’). Bhanjyang sits atop the ridge at the northern edge of the Kathmandu valley… IMG_0672 IMG_0669

As mentioned in our last update, we brought materials for easy-to-build dome shelters to the village. These materials included 9 sheets of corrugated tin (‘jasta’ in Nepali), 3 bent pipes, 6 metals stakes, and various bits of hardware for each shelter…. When finished, the basic shelter looks like this: IMG_0494 The local villagers then cover the sides of the shelters with salvaged materials of their own, such as wood, bamboo, more ‘jasta,’ plastic tarps, or whatever else is available (and will provide adequate cross ventilation). Shortly after returning from Malaysia, the folks at Project EK connected us with community members in Bhanjyang who were requesting housing assistance. Drew visited the village to meet them and assess their housing situation. Many homes were destroyed there and others are too badly cracked to inhabit any longer… IMG_0523 2015-06-15 10.58.14 IMG_0616 IMG_0683 2015-06-15 10.44.49 IMG_0665 2015-06-15 10.53.27 2015-06-15 10.52.39 Not long after the first earthquake, a group of volunteers helped the villagers construct these temporary structures out of plastic tarps and bamboo… 2015-06-15 10.20.42 2015-06-15 11.04.33 IMG_0530 Although they look quite nice from a distance, the villagers report that they have become unbearably hot in the summer weather, and that there are many rips and tears in the tarps that cause severe leaks – a big problem during the wet monsoon season.

A local woman points out the many holes in the tarp of an abandoned shelter...

A local woman points out the many holes in the tarp of an abandoned shelter…

And so we placed an order for shelters at National Structures & Engineering, a factory located in the Patan Industrial Estate, which luckily for us, is located just a few minutes walk from our home. After several weeks of fulfilling orders for these kinds of shelters, N.S.E. has the whole process streamlined and assembles everything you need for building the shelters- from the basic materials (‘jasta’ and pipes), to the hardware, to the tool kits you need to put everything together, they’ve got it all. Loading the truck with the ‘jasta’ and pipes… IMG_0514 The truck was late arriving to the factory for loading, and the loading process itself took quite some time, but finally we got on the road. After a long drive through the city, we began climbing the hill amidst the trees… IMG_0519 Not long after our ascent into the hills, we made it to Bhanjyang and began the long process of unloading the truck and sorting the supplies… IMG_0539 IMG_0584 IMG_0579

Materials being sorted into piles for individual households...

Materials being sorted into piles for individual households…

Women counting out 'j-hooks' for distribution...

Women counting out ‘j-hooks’ for distribution…

Hauling the materials home...

Hauling the materials home…

... even the kiddos pitched in to help.

… even the kiddos pitched in to help.

Our friends Prawin and Paresh also joined us for the day – they have gained a lot of experience building these kinds of shelters since the earthquake and helped us by giving a demonstration to the villagers on how to construct them…

Materials for the new shelter sit in the shadow of a collapsed home...

Materials for the new shelter sit in the shadows of a collapsed home…

Measuring the area so stakes can be put into the ground in the correct locations...

Measuring the area so stakes can be put into the ground in the correct locations…

Hammering in the stakes that will support the bent pipe frames and anchor the shelter to the ground...

Hammering in the stakes that will support the bent pipe frames and anchor the shelter to the ground…

Inserting the stakes into the bent pipe frames...

Inserting the stakes into the bent pipe frames…

Cutting and folding the slender pieces of corrugated tin so they are held together, creating one large piece...

Prawin demonstrates how to cut and fold the thin pieces of corrugated tin so they are held together, creating one large piece…

The cutting and folding is the most time-intensive aspect of this process which ultimately takes about 1.5 hours...

The cutting and folding is the most time-intensive aspect of this process which takes about 1.5 hours altogether…

Nine pieces of tin connected into one being pulled over the top of the bent pipe frames...

Finally, the large piece is pulled over the top of the bent pipe frames…

The tin is held into place by several 'j-hooks'...

…and secured into place on the pipes with several ‘j-hooks’…

A village elder teaches a young boy how to attach the 'j-hooks'...

A village elder teaches a young boy how to attach the ‘j-hooks’…

The completed structure at the end of the day...

The completed structure at the end of the day – now the sides need to be filled in with salvaged materials…

IMG_0605

Drew talking with the woman who will live in this shelter once it is complete...

Drew talking with the woman who will live in this shelter once it is entirely complete…

As Prawin and Paresh took the lead on the construction demo, and Drew worked alongside the many local volunteers to unload the truck, I found myself playing the role of documentarian… all the while surrounded by children. It was so much fun talking and playing with them… and taking pictures, of course!

IMG_0623                         IMG_0651 IMG_0593                         IMG_0625 IMG_0643       IMG_0638 IMG_0595 IMG_0630

We were happy to provide these materials to the people of Bhanjyang, and are so grateful for all of the generous donations that made it possible! Even if the corrugated tin is used to improve on an existing shelter or the bent pipes are used to make a greenhouse instead of a home, we know the materials will be put to good use. We hope to go back to the village and check in on their progress within a few weeks. In the meantime, I will leave you with this message from a lovely 16 year old girl that I met there, Sujita: “Thank you for helping us!”

Sujita (right) with her sister...

Sujita (right) with her sister…

Oh, and one other thing – I recently made a visit to the Yellow Gompa camp for survivors from Langtang… remember the tarps we bought for this camp with your donations? I spotted a few of them while I was there, shining bright red in the sunlight…

It's nice seeing materials bought with your generous donation dollars being put to good use!

It’s nice seeing materials bought with your generous donation dollars being put to good use so long after their initial delivery…

And lastly, here are this week’s numbers-
Funds raised since our last update (June 17
th): $3,220
Total funds raised: $12,912.36
Funds spent since our last update (June 17
th): $4,655
Total funds spent: $7,229.61
Funds leftover for future relief work: $5,682.75

Thank you, again and again, for your generous support! We are working on more relief and recovery projects for the future – if you know somebody who might be interested in donating, please send them HERE. Thank you! IMG_0679

6 thoughts on “Nepal Earthquake 2015 – Relief Fund Update #4

    • What great work you are doing! I am proud to have seen you grow up into such a loving and selfless person. Thanks for doing the real work.

  1. Hi Brenna,
    So great to see these quick temporary shelter solutions being delivered and built! One question though – obviously there are no bathroom facilities in these shelters, are there any public health concerns of not having proper bathroom facilities for people?
    Angie

    • Thanks, Angie! I didn’t mention it in our post because we did not buy them with our relief fund, but our friend Paresh brought 17 basic squat toilets to the village along with our housing kits – the villagers simply have to dig a (very) deep hole into the ground, and install the plastic toilet pipe into the hole – it’s not ideal (there’s no running water), but it will certainly help contain the waste and help prevent the spread of disease.

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