‘Dharti”: Building the first set of temporary shelters

The team of ChangeFusion Nepal targeted Bhattedandha village at Dhulikhel for rebuilding and restoration after the disastrous 25.4.2015 Greater Nepal earthquake. The few highlights of the ongoing ‘Dharti’ initiative are given on timelines below:-

  • 4th May 2015 , Monday (1 pm) — Met the locals of Bhattedandha village which comprised of 104 households and conducted a basic need assessment to find out their top priority was ‘Temporary Shelter’ before the monsoon season.
  • 4th May 2015, Monday (5 pm) — Met the team of Portal Bikers who were building temporary shelters and requested them to help in 1oo houses.They were in shortage of the building materials but said would try and we requested them to make us first priority.
  • 5th May 2015, Tuesday (11 am) — Follow up with the Portal Bikers on our temporary shelter arrangements.
  • 5th May 2015, Tuesday (6 pm) — Received a call from them saying our first batch of 10 houses were ready for installation at 9 am the next day and we were to learn how to install them and take the materials at the village for construction.

That night, the team were excited by the thought of being able to give 10 households the relief from the stress and trauma they were facing in the past 11 days. We were sleeping on proper beds and they were on grounds with a tent atop so this meant a lot for us all.

  • 6th May, 2015 Wednesday (9 am) — As the temporary shelter installations took up much labor, we being a small team asked for volunteers and Ayush Giria, Binum Karmacharya, Sagar Naral agreed to volunteer for the entire ‘Dharti’ project. We reached the Portal Bikers workstation before time but since the other team who were also keen to learn the installation technique were late, the session started at 10 pm only.
The Portal Bikers team training our team members.
Our team and volunteers learning the installation stages.
  • 6th May, 2015 Wednesday (9 am) — The temporary shelter installation training commenced at the Portal Bikers workstation. The methods of making these houses are identified as follows:
  1. Arrange the space of 10ft by 12ft.
  2. Two measuring wire where one is small and another is longer one.
  3. Pull the rod on the land as according to the marking loops. There will be total 8rods.
  4. Rod should be on triangle shape and on parallel. The wire should be tightened.
  5. Another 4 longer wire and 4 short wires on the two opposite sides.
  6. 4 metal roofs at opposite sides on the same time.
  7. Overlap tin (jasta) by 2step and cut it with cutter (total 9cuts of tin). It should go down from under side.
  8. Once the tin is fixed, tight the wire and twists it with the small rod from left side.
The team making sure the volunteers have understood the entire steps properly.

These steps looked simple but there were intricate details which had to be taken into consideration. With limited time and without practice, we were concerned as to whether the volunteers actually understood the entire process. After the training, we boarded our own truck with materials of construction and we split the work into two : the volunteers would board the truck while the ChangeFusion Nepal’s team would go ahead to make the Bhattedandha installation site ready with local support.

  • 6th May, 2015 Wednesday (1 pm) — The ChangeFusion team gets to the village and the truck takes some time as it broke down on the way. The team then selected 10 most vulnerable households ( houses completely destroyed, no shelter , food or cultivable land whatsoever) to build the temporary shelter houses.

10 Household Name

1) Lok Bahadur Tamang

2) Lalmaya Tamang

3) Somrani Tamang

4) Mankumari Tamang

5) Raju Tamang

6) Dorje Tamang

7) Sentence Tamang ( Mathloghar)

8) Aashish Tamang

9) Surya Tamang

10) Changba Tamang

We also arranged for 4 local youth, Lok Bahadur Tamang, Dorje Tama, Surya Bahadur Tamang and Raju Tamang, who will be helping and learning from our volunteers to build the shelter houses. This is because we want the community to be independent and learn the techniques so they can do for the other households at Bhattedandha.

The truck arrived with materials at the village.
  • 6th May, 2015 Wednesday (2 pm) — The truck arrived with the materials and the volunteers. First, all the materials were unloaded and kept in a safe place with the support from the local community. If 1 item goes missing, then the shelter would not be possible.
  • 6th May, 2015 Wednesday (3 pm) — The construction of the first temporary shelter started and we choose Rekha Tamang’s household who is currently living on other’s place.(her story has been mentioned in the previous ‘Dharti’ thread ).
Locals help unload the materials.
The installation begins at the village.
The first pipe is up.
All four pipes are up and the tin is ready to be installed with joint efforts.

While Raju (Rekha’s husband) helps build the house, Rekha and her kids wait in excitement.

Constructing the walls of the temporary shelters.
One part is done.
The team tightening the gaps to make the shelter strong.
Finally, the shelter is up.
Rekha with her family at the temporary shelter.
  • 6th May, 2015 Wednesday (4 pm) —The first shelter is built and happiness spreads in Rekha’s family. The kids want to move immediately. While the sun was slowing setting, the team of ChangeFusion Nepal, started to pack for Kathmandu and the volunteers and local team move to another site to build the second shelter. One of the team members from Portal Bikers came to check if the volunteers have constructed the shelters properly and he gave us a green signal.
The team getting positive response and appreciation from the locals.

While we were packing to leave for the day after 10 hours of non-stop physical, mental and emotional sweat and toil, we met Pushpa Lama on the way who came running downhill to express her gratitude. She said, “I am not among the first 10 to receive the shelters and even I am not, I am happy to see the first 10 ones getting some shelter because I know, how difficult it was for them to stay in such condition. Thank you”.

Second house in construction .

So we would like to conclude with saying thank you to all, If ChangeFusion Thailand had not raise funds, If Jo Hill had not connected us to the builders, if we had no volunteers support, if we had no community support, it would not have been possible. So when this blog post goes live, the 4 houses will already be constructed . The team of volunteers have stayed back in village so they can start early in the morning and hope, in our next blog we can share the 10 shelters stories.

Building the shelter homes is our top priority and the cost of 1 shelter = US $ 120. Do contribute to the ongoing SavingNepal campaign hosted by ChangeFusion Thailand. Taejai.com volunteers to be a center to raise fund and support to help ChangeFusion Nepal. Do show your support and solidarity athttps://taejai.com/en/projects/savingnepal.

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