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Nepal Earthquake: Rehabilitation of Rural Communities

Helping communities and individuals rebuild their lives after the 2015 Nepal earthquakes.

In September 2015, Karuna-Shechen ended its Nepal Earthquake Emergency Response and  started implementing a vast program to rehabilitate over 58 rural communities that were severely affected by the 2015 quakes.

It is estimated that two million people were displaced by the 7.9 and 7.3 magnitude earthquakes that struck the country in April and May 2015. Many villages, schools and other essential infrastructures were completely destroyed or badly damaged. According to official estimates it will take at least five years to rebuild the country.

In keeping with our mission to help the most vulnerable people, Karuna-Shechen has created a strategy to address the needs of the communities that were left out of humanitarian and development aid programs because of their remoteness and/or small population.

Our intervention covers 12* of the 15 districts affected by the disaster. In each district, villages have been selected according to specific criteria.

Together with our local partners and the villagers, we are implementing projects in six sectors: education, solar electrification, food security, health, counter human trafficking and disaster preparedness.

Our goal is that when the intervention is completed, the  villagers will be able to manage the projects independently and that they will be sustainable. We will train local people from within the communities to then pass on their knowledge and expertise to the inhabitants of neighboring villages.

Our projects will, therefore, serve as models that other communities can replicate locally without outside intervention.

*Gorkha, Sindhupalanchowk,Rasuwa, Kavrepalanchowk, Dolokha, Ramechhap, Makwanpur, Okhaldhunga, Sindhuli, Dhading, Nuwakot et Solukhumbu.

SECTORS OF INTERVENTION:

Education

school children nepal

Many schools have been severely damaged or completely destroyed. Before the disaster, because of a lack of resources and monitoring systems, the quality of education in most of these schools was already very poor, leading to high dropout rates.

To ensure children have access to quality education, we are rehabilitating and supporting 12 primary schools affected by the earthquakes.

Activities Include:

•Supporting the construction of a temporary bamboo 6-8 room structure that
can be erected in a week or so for schools that do not have habitable classrooms ;

•Supporting the fabrication or procurement of classroom desks and benches;

•Supporting the construction of permanent toilets for boys and girls;

•Supporting the construction of a permanent rainwater harvesting or water supply systems;

•In addition to the main curriculum, introducing students to local vocational trades to inculcate a deep respect for all skills, trades and livelihoods;

•Providing financial support for additional teachers, books and stationery, uniforms, teaching materials, sporting goods, etc.;

•Continuously engaging the local community to teach and encourage them to play an active monitoring role; engaging the school management committee to ensure that they fulfill their role in the school’s management, and enlisting the faculty to fulfill their respective duties;

•Engaging the government to bring about a positive change in their policies in education.

SOLAR ELECTRICITY

solar

As part of our post-earthquake intervention, we are expanding our Solar power program. More than half of Nepal’s population do not have electricity in their home and, instead, rely on kerosene oil lamps and wood fires, which are both fire and health hazards.

In the past, we have successfully installed solar lighting systems to eliminate these problems. Solar also provides light at night for children to study and do their homework, and thus improves education.

Activities Include:

•Training and capacity building for two women from each selected village to become solar technicians and solar entrepreneurs;

•Solar electrifying 100 households in one village in each project area;

•Supporting the creation of a solar workshop in each of these villages for the trained women.

 

FOOD SECURITY

kitchen garden

This segment of the intervention programs ensures that families produce and have access to a low-cost, nutritious, and complete range of seasonal vegetables and staple foods, by re-establishing, promoting, and supporting:

• Sustenance farming, including establishment of household kitchen gardens, together with natural/organic composting and pest management;

• Cultivation of staple crops;

• Animal husbandry;

•Watershed replenishment, maintenance and management;

• Bio-forestry;

• Food storage improvement techniques;

• The cultivation of cash crops for added income where suitable;

COUNTER HUMAN TRAFFICKING

counter trafficking

Nepal has the ill fame of being high on the list of countries afflicted by human trafficking and unsafe migration. The current earthquake-affected districts have become even more vulnerable. A surge in human trafficking has been clearly detected, and counter measures are being taken.

Activities Include:

•Using our local organizing skills and partners, we will offer intensive and protracted training, awareness, and networking in communities, schools, government units, social groups, village committees, and individuals.

HEALTH

emergecncy response

The most pressing need in Nepal’s medical sector is pre-hospital emergency medical response and medicine and primary healthcare service.

In rural areas, patients do not go to rural medical units until a medical case is truly advanced. This is because these outposts are generally ill-equipped, ill-manned and located many hours or days walk away.

To address this vacuum, we are expanding our intensive advanced first-aid training program. We will train selected villagers as community first-aiders to respond to pre-hospital medical emergencies and primary health care needs in their locality.

Activities Include:

• Training and deployment of Advanced Community First Aiders;

• Advanced First Aid Training for the AFAs on adolescent, maternity, and child health.
This intensive advanced first-aid training program is designed to progressively create a nation-wide network of community emergency health responders in isolated villages of rural Nepal. Since 2012, over 500 community advanced first-aiders have already been trained, and their usefulness was proven beyond a doubt, particularly in the recent post-earthquake scenario.

 

Disaster Preparedness

disater

This important intervention aims at strengthening capacities of communities, village committees, and individuals, so that they will be prepared for, and can cope and respond to, unforeseen sudden natural or man-made disasters in the future.

Activities Include:

Training and capacity-building on disaster mitigation, preparedness and response, conducting training and drilling repeatedly, and networking with government and non-government institutions, village level bodies, and individuals.