Print Edition - 2015-06-07  |  Earthquake Relief

Rebuilding on their own

Rebuilding on their own

Jun 6, 2015-

After realising that the government would not come their rescue on time, residents of a Danuwar community in Panchkhaal’s Aapghaari have taken up the task of rebuilding their homes themselves.

The community of around 300 families, mostly Danuwars, are setting up temporary shelters through collective work.  Gyan Bahadur Danuwar says they decided to rebuild their houses themselves after living under tarpaulin tents so many days.

“We will build walls that are up to three feet tall and then complete the structure with bamboo and zinc sheets,” he said, adding that he had bought the zinc with borrowed money.

Another local, Ganesh Bahadur Danuwar, who was building a temporary shelter said they realised they needed to start work soon because the monsoon was already around the corner.

According to Mohan Danuwar, the entire village is involved in the rebuilding efforts.  The villagers, who are mostly wage workers, are planning to build shelters which could cost anywhere between Rs 8,000 to Rs 12,000 per home, all with local materials.

The Nepali Congress’ sister wing Tarun Dal is helping the Danuwar community in their endeavour. While the organisation is funding the supply of local materials, volunteers from the organisation are helping out in the field. According to Tarun Dal’s central committee member Mahesh Kharel, they plan to build around 100 homes in the community.  

“We want to support the notion that you can build homes from local materials and don’t have to always rely on outsiders,” he said. Kharel said they could build homes with just Rs 4,000 by using supplies from damaged homes.

The locals of Danuwar also face a number of challenges. Along with a lack of materials, there is also a shortage of skilled labour. The price of commodities has also gone up. “A bamboo that cost around Rs 200 is now being sold for Rs 3,000 and above,” said Mohan Danuwar.  

The shortage of zinc sheets, which is a problem in all affected districts, has also hit the Danuwar community hard. According to the Kavre Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s coordinator Kripendra Shrestha, at least 70 tons of zinc sheets have been sold in the district.

Published: 07-06-2015 08:13

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