Swiss donors help quake-hit families build new houses

- Harihar Singh Rathour, Chainpur (Dhading)
Swiss donors help quake-hit families build new houses

Jul 26, 2015-

Dhanmaya Shakya of Sandhbhanjyang in Chainpur VDC ultimately bade farewell to life under a makeshift tent and shifted to her own new house two weeks ago. Shakya and her son were obliviously delighted to finally move into a house but the beauty of the house doubled their joy.

The simple but attractive house built near the ruins of the old one ravaged by earthquakes has drawn people from various villages. The small house daubed with red mud has windows on all sides and stands on nine pillars of Chilaune tress found in abundant in the local forests. The roof of the house is covered with bamboo and zinc sheets.

The 20 feet long house with 13 feet width provides ample space for three beds and a table and can accommodate four to five family members.

“If we work both night and day the house can be completed in three days but if we build it in leisure it can be done within a week,” said Dhanman Shakya of Chainpur. Dhanman, a carpenter by profession, has undertaken to construct 13 similar houses in the village.

The model houses also have two feet long space at the front to store crops. Windows have nets to prevent mosquitoes from getting in and iron bars for protection from thieves.

The hut was made on minimal cost. Only two and a half bundles of zinc sheets were used. The house owners were provided additional thousand rupees for being able to spend just seven thousand on labour cost. House owners had carried the bamboos and built the walls themselves.

The model house was not built by any organisation. Asha Shanti Chhatkuli of Chainpur-4 has arranged help to collect fund for the zinc sheets and labour cost.  

Chhatkuli, who works at HSBC Bank in Switzerland, had appealed for help from her colleagues. She had invited friends for lunch and asked them to help contribute to rebuilding houses of poor people victimized by the earthquakes.

Her appeal worked and her friends contributed. Chhatkuli’s father, a former engineer at Nepal Army, designed the easy-to-build and low-cost houses while her uncle Pratap Chhatkuli leads the project.

“We had planned to build 25 houses for underprivileged, marginalised, single women and Dalit people. But we were able to shift all the people in our village (Chainpur) from tent to house after my niece (Asha Shanti) sent money enough to build 58 huts,” Pratap said.

Asha Shanti travelled all over the village to meet people who had just shifted from tents to their small huts. “I have taken pictures of all the houses and will show them to friends in Switzerland,” she said. Of the 58 huts, 17 were built by Dalit families.

Published: 27-07-2015 08:15

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