Print Edition - 2015-05-24 | Earthquake Relief
Doctors help quake victims build temporary shelters
May 23, 2015-
Through their initiation, 100 temporary homes have been constructed in Sankhu, 25 in Gundu village in Bhaktapur and 25 shelters in Kavre. Before the onset of the monsoon, an additional 400 shelters will be built in Sindhupalchwok.
Named Doctors for Habitat, the programme was initiated by Dr Ram Kumar Ghimire and Mamata Ghimire,
Dr Bhagawan Koirala and Sandra Koirala, Dr Jagdgish Agrawal and Dr Jyoti Agrawal and Dr Ramesh Chokhani and Namrata Chokhani. The initiative has now garnered the support of various other doctors.
The shelters, which measure 10x12 feet, have a corrugated iron sheet curved over four iron rods, creating a hallow space to live in. The doctors participating in the project provide the materials, while the recipients construct shelters out of it.
Laxmi Narayan Prajapati of Sankhu is one of such beneficiary of the project. His house was reduced to rubble in the Great Earthquake on April 25. Since then, he had been living out in the open air with his family of six. Recently, the group approached Prajapti and provided him with the necessary materials to construct a temporary shelter.
“At least I have something above my head now to keep me protected,” said Prajapati.
“The magnitude of the challenge is such that it is hard for the government to work alone in providing shelter before the monsoon. Rains are just days away and even if the government tried its best, it would be hard to reach out to all the people,” said Dr Ghimire. “So we thought this initiative could at least help people shelter themselves and their families during the rain.”
The structure promoted by the doctors is similar to that of the shelter provided by some organisations after the Pakistan Earthquake in 2005. Dr Ghimire said that since the construction was not complicated, and the total cost for building a unit came to around Rs 15,000, they decided to opt for this design.
Dr Ghimire said they now have enough money to build around 400 such houses.
Dr Agrawal, the other initiator of the project, said that they also provided people with toilet slabs, which could be used to construct safe temporary toilets.
“With the arrival of the monsoon, disease outbreaks are a major concern. At least people can now dig a pit near their place and build a temporary toilet,” said Dr Agrawal.
Published: 24-05-2015 06:49