NEPAL

The April 2015 Nepal earthquake (also known as the Gorkha earthquake) killed more than 9,000 people and injured more than 23,000—and destroyed more than 750,000 homes. It was a magnitude 7.8 on the Richter Scale and was the worst natural disaster to strike Nepal since the Bihar earthquake in 1934.

The 2015 Gorkha earthquake triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, killing at least 19, and in the Langtang valley, where 250 people were reported missing.

In dozens of other districts, hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless when entire villages were flattened. Centuries-old buildings were destroyed at UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley, including Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, the Changu Narayan Temple, and the Swayambhunath Stupa. Geophysicists and other experts had warned for decades that Nepal was vulnerable to a deadly earthquake, particularly because of its geology, urbanization, and architecture, but nothing had been done to prepare.

MicroAid Builds a New Home for the Balram Family — 2016 

When the Balram family settled in the area many generations ago, Bhaktapur was a rural hamlet outside of Kathmandu. As part of the sewing caste, the family’s livelihood was making clothes, curtains, and bedding for the local community. They made a decent living, and their simple mud and stone house was one of the first constructed in the area. Over the years, due to ready-made textile options, their business had dwindled and the family fell into poverty. Six years ago, the father, who was the head of the household, died after a long illness, leaving the mother to care for her three daughters, two sons, and two grandkids. The family, already facing severe challenges from poverty, was dealt an additional blow when the 2015 earthquake brought down their house. The disaster left them destitute and living in a makeshift one-room shack with a corrugated metal roof and walls, and a dilapidated outhouse. Unfortunately, the location of their destroyed home was off the radar of the international aid organizations, so they were on their own. 

The new house under construction—building to the highest seismic standards.

This new home for the family will last for generations to come

The old bathroom/outhouse 

Now they have indoor plumbing 

The old interior was dark, cramped and leaky–cold in the winter and hot in the summer

The new home is airy and secure and light and weather-tight

With electric lights 

Home sweet home for the Balram family thanks to MicroAid

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MicroAid Rebuilds the Syama Family Home –– 2017

Even years after the 2015 Gorkha earthquake, the situation in Nepal remains dire. Due to a terrible convergence of government inaction, a fuel and materials blockade along the Indian border, and the magnitude of the damage, very little has been done to help the survivors who lost their homes. While other aid organizations are focussed on the mountain villages—and have their hands tied by the government bureaucracy—MicroAid is helping families in the urban Kathmandu Valley rebuild and repair their homes so they can return to self-sufficiency.

The back of the Syama family  home after the earth quake, propped up with 2 x 4s and completely unsafe

MicroAid removed the wall and began a complete rebuild of the five-story structure, even removing the top floor for safety

The crew working hard to finish before the next rainy season

Taking down the upper wall and  windows

The new wall and windows for the Syama family 

The new safe roof

The new back door for the Syama family's home

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MicroAid Rebuilds the Gyamaru Family Home –– 2017

Even years after the 2015 Gorkha earthquake, the situation in Nepal remains dire. Due to a terrible convergence of government inaction, a fuel and materials blockade along the Indian border, and the magnitude of the damage, very little has been done to help the survivors who lost their homes. While other aid organizations are focussed on the mountain villages—and have their hands tied by the government bureaucracy—MicroAid is helping families in the urban Kathmandu Valley rebuild and repair their homes so they can return to self-sufficiency.

The nine-members of the Gyamaru family have been working hard at various jobs—brick factory, construction labor, driving small trucks, and seasonal fieldwork—but they are still living hand-to-mouth, and would never have been able to save enough money to rebuild their home.  MicroAid repaired their house, so that they would have a safe place to live. 

The exterior of the Gyamaru home looked OK after the earthquake, but the interior structure was damaged and unsafe.

The Gyamaru ceiling before MicroAid.

Ceiling after MicroAid repair.

MicroAid uses local labor and materials to help the affected communities.

New floors for the Gyamaru family.

MicroAid rebuilt the interior walls.

And added structural supports throughout the house, so it will withstand future earthquakes. The Gyamaru family can now go about their lives without worrying that their home will collapse around them.

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MicroAid Rebuilds Another Family Home –– 2018

Damaged and dangerous home since the earthquake.  The family had nowhere else to live.

Even years after the 2015 Gorkha earthquake, the situation in Nepal remains dire. Due to a terrible convergence of government inaction, a fuel and materials blockade along the Indian border, and the magnitude of the damage, very little has been done to help the survivors who lost their homes. While other aid organizations are focussed on the mountain villages—and have their hands tied by the government bureaucracy—MicroAid is helping families in the urban Kathmandu Valley rebuild and repair their homes so they can return to self-sufficiency.

 

When the earthquake damaged their house in 2015, this family was already struggling. The father who had been getting intermittent welding work, has tuberculosis, and is failing fast. Any money the family makes goes to his medical treatment. His son is learning the trade, but it takes a while, and his wife and daughter, who goes to school, help out by doing piecework knitting. They have no other land and no other family to help out. In fact, as soon as the house is safe again, after MicroAid repairs it, the grandparents will move back in

MicroAid starts the process for removing the remnants of the top floor, which could have collapsed and killed the family at any moment.

Rebuilding the walls.  First we had to disengage from the neighbor’s wall, which the houses shared!

Creating a new top floor.

Reinforcing and earthquake-retrofitting all the supporting walls.

Making sure the new windows conformed to local codes.

Traditional wood frames had to be custom made so that the historic nature of he community was preserved.

The new and safe top floor and exterior of the homes.  It will last for generations to come.

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310-713-6469

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