On April 25, Nepal suffered froam a magnitude 7.8 earthquake with an almost equal aftershock on May 12.
9.000 people died in the warthquakes, 25.000 were injured and 3 million people lost their homes.
In Chepel nobody died, but lots of houses were partly or totally destroyed. However, the neighbourhood village of Khumlu was totally destroyed and no single house was left there. This also included the water supply for the village.
From May 26 to June 14, 2015 I went to Nepal and visited Chepel and all 9 surrounding villages
as well as Kathmandu and the neighbouring former royal city Bhaktapur to get my own picture of
the destruction and the local situation.
Friends of Chepel e.V. gave immediate support to Chepel and the surrounding villages. One of the first things Karma organized was the provision of glavanized sheets to build semipermanent houses for those who lost their house completely.
On the picture you can see the handover of the galvanized sheets in June in Hulu to 109 households.
The sheets can later be used to build the roof of a house.
Here are some impressions and facts about the situation a few weeks after the earthquake:
The people in Chepel and the surrounding area:
Since the warthquake took place at midday just before 12, many people were already back in the field because they traditionally have lunch around 11 already. Those who were in their houses rushed out into the open which is quite easy since the houses usually consist of a singel room only.
However, 4 weeks after the earthquake many people still lived outside of their houses in their shelters as either their homes were so badly damaged that they do not dare to move in again or else they were still so shocked and afraid that they did not want to go back into a stone house.
Most of the families had to live in shelters, which was quite a burden in many aspects, especially since in May the monsoon season starts and with the heavy rainfalls everything which is not well protected gets totally wet.
Besides, I was never aware how loud rain is when it permanently falls on a zinc sheet and not on a real roof.
A doorway arch is one of the safest places in a house during an earthquake. This is well documented when looking at this picture and on what is left from the building.
Before Friends of Chepel e.V. provided the zinc sheets many families lived under the remainders of their house like under this former roof.
In some parts of Kathmandu the situation did not look much better. What shocked me most there was the fact that only 4 weeks after the first earthquake I did not see A SINGLE NGO there anymore. All the hands-on support by foreign NGOs which could be seen on TV in the days after the earthquake had gone. The only Western people I saw were some young students which still helped a family to dismantle the remainders of their house.
What I saw were often women, including ver old women and also kids, who worked in the ruins.
Another old woman working in the ruins of her house.