On April 25, 2015, a 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal near the capital city of Kathmandu; the worst in more than 80 years. Sadly, over 9,000 people lost their lives, a further 23,000 were injured and there was major destruction of homes infrastructure. The earthquake resulted in more than 5,000 schools being damaged or completely destroyed. On May 12, 2015, a second 7.3 earthquake struck the country, causing further devastation and loss of lives.
After more than five years in Nepal, we’ve impacted 22,000+ lives through our relief efforts. In October 2019, our team returned to Nepal to continue work on another three schools –– Shree Manakamana Basic School, Shree Janakalyan Ni Ma Vi School and Shree Thakureshwor Ni Ma Vi School.
Shree Manakamana Basic School is now complete, and, following the program suspension, we are monitoring local restrictions to determine if, and when, local staff can return to the Janakalyan and Thakureshwor schools to complete construction and finalize the buildings. Our present assumption is this will be possible in September.
In May, we provided equipment and funding to support an emergency quarantine center in Dudahuli, Sindhuli. This region had insufficient medical facilities to cope with the existing demand and impact of COVID-19. Our Partnership and Project Development teams have worked closely with local partners and the government to identify a health care facility that can be transformed to increase resilience to events like Covid-19 and provide much needed additional medical services to local communities. We’re currently working to define the scope of work, communicating with the government to follow the approval process, and plan the construction of a health center when we can safely begin work.
72 hours after the first earthquake struck, we were on the ground assisting affected communities – helping to put families back in homes and children back in schools in the districts of Kathmandu, Sindhupalchowk, Sindhuli and Nuwakot. Thanks to the support of our partners, donors, local community and volunteers from around the world, we have been running impactful programs in Nepal since 2015.
Our team successfully constructed the Manakamana Basic School in the Makwanpur Municipality, providing safe, disaster-resilient learning facilities for the Manakamana students.
Additionally, we completed projects that aim to address the severe shortage of water in the community; our volunteers worked hand in hand with the community to build two water tanks, each with a capacity of twenty thousand liters. We’ve also installed a rainwater harvesting system and built a fifty thousand liter retention tank at the school to capture monsoon rains. Our work also supported the local government’s lunch program for students; we built a new kitchen with improved stove, kitchen counters and utensils. Throughout the program, various trainings were conducted, including disaster risk reduction, WASH and child right protection.