Solidar Suisse aids the victims of the Nepalese earthquake by building 600 earthquake proof houses, repairing the water supply system and offering financial help to compensate for the slain livestock and the lost harvest.
The earthquake devastated an isolated region of the Sindhupalchowk district. To ensure a long-lasting capability to build earthquake proof houses, a training program was made part of the reconstruction effort. One person from each of the participating families was given the opportunity to be part of a 10-man team for 8 months. The teams built houses and the members received an officially recognized education as construction workers. As a result the chronic lack of qualified workers was reduced and new earning opportunities were created. Earthquake proof houses are the primary goal of the reconstruction program; thus dry stone walls with reinforcing wooden beams are used.
LEARNING HOW TO BUILD ONE’S OWN HOME
Fulmaya Baral, from the Palchok team, relates “Crucial points are that the stones are well positioned and that the cornerstones are correctly hewn”. This isn’t obvious because women weren’t trusted to do the work usually done by men. “People told me that ‘You could never do this as well as a man’. However, given the training, I am confident that I can, and I want to show my abilities.” Fulmaya Baral got support from Solidar coworkers and her neighbour, who was part of the same team. She says, “I am looking forward to being able to build my own house at the end of the training program”. And, she wants to continue working in construction which allows her to earn more than a farmer could. “I can earn 150 Rupees a day for field work, but 500 Rupees on a construction site”. The desire to be independent, earning her own money, is an important motivator for Fulmaya; besides, she adds, “I want to do something for the community.”
HUMANITARIAN HELP AFTER NATURAL DISASTERS
Solidar Suisse has considerable expertise in humanitarian aid after natural disasters. We have already provided humanitarian assistance in other Asian countries including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India and the Philippines.