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…
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: 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… Not long after the first earthquake, a group of volunteers helped the villagers construct these temporary structures out of plastic tarps and bamboo… 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.
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… 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… 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…
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…
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!
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!”
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…
And lastly, here are this week’s numbers-
Funds raised since our last update (June 17th): $3,220
Total funds raised: $12,912.36
Funds spent since our last update (June 17th): $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!