Print Edition - 2015-06-04  |  Earthquake Relief

Tunnel shelters in Dukuchhap

- Jessica Tradati, Kathmandu
Tunnel shelters in Dukuchhap

Jun 3, 2015-

Even a month after the Great Quake, many families in the tiny village of Dukuchhap in Lalitpur still do not have enough shelters to protect them from the impending monsoon rains. Out of the 38 houses in the village, 15 have completely collapsed and the others have suffered major damages. Dukuchhap has a peculiar demography, with the majority of its population being women with young children, many of whom are disabled and sickly. Thus, after the quakes, many families were unable to construct sturdy water-resistant shelters and had to rely on makeshift huts.

Finally, last week, a team of volunteers led by the Nepali NGO Prosperous Nepal and supported by private donors, such as the community built around the Facebook page Nepal Needs Help, AECA (the Australian Education Consultants Alliance), KOI (King’s Own Institute) and InterGlobal visited the village and decided to start a tin-tunnel shelter project in the area.

The group aims to install 60 temporary homes: they all have a tin roof in the shape of a tunnel supported by metal framework.

“We provide people with a two-wall structure and a roof. They have to construct the remaining two sides of the building themselves. It doesn’t require much knowledge and effort. They can use whatever material they can retrieve from their collapsed houses or use local resources,” says Rajesh Raj Joshi, one of the donors.

The cost for creating a shelter is Rs 15,000, which includes both material and labour costs. Each 12 feet by10 feet shelter can accomodate a family of 5-6 people.

“We didn’t really know what to expect before coming here with our team of volunteers,” says the president of Prosperous Nepal, Rajeev Poudel. “So, the very first thing we did was to gather the villagers to explain to them what was going on—why and how we were helping them.”

It took two full days of nonstop work for the team and the villagers to set up the first 15 temporary homes for the most needy families. First, they had to agree on safe locations, possibly close to the villagers’ destroyed homes. Then they put up the tunnel frame, and lastly assembled nine tin sheets and fixed them atop the metal structure.

Published: 04-06-2015 07:48

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