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Nepal Relief

As Nepal has been working to recover from the long-run impacts of past earthquakes, it was severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The real impacts of COVID-19 started to be observed in Nepal from March 2020, after the Nepal government implemented the first nationwide lockdown. During the pandemic, the local health facilities were overwhelmed and schools were used as impromptu quarantine centers. The disaster highlighted the need for improved medical facilities and the need to develop local health capacity.

Our Work

Thanks to the crucial support of our partners, donors, local community and volunteers from around the world, we have been running impactful programs in Nepal since 2015. We have completed 24 schools to date, serving nearly 6,000 students. We have also implemented Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities, including toilets and water filtration systems at our schools.

In February, we returned to Nepal to build Dudhauli health post, aiming to increase resilience to events like COVID-19 and provide much needed additional medical services to local communities. Our work involves rebuilding the two existing buildings to expand the capacity of the health post, providing additional service for up to 40,000. In addition to these two buildings we will also construct a visitors toilet block, install water filtration, run community-led projects, facilitate healthcare trainings through our partner, NATAN, and complete landscaping works.

We were delighted to welcome volunteers to start work on our Nepal Relief Program in January 2022. The first phase of the project is focused on constructing the two new buildings for the Health Post. Thanks to the hard work of the first cohort of volunteers, progress moved quickly in the first month of the program with the completion of both buildings’ foundations.

The team wished the first cohort of volunteers farewell in mid-March and welcomed the second cohort of excited volunteers! The staff team took the time between cohorts to perform reviews of tools and processes, to ensure the safety of volunteers, masons and staff members.

We’re delighted to have hired five local women as female masons and their training has already begun. The masons have been hard at work at Dudhauli health post, supporting the current work of rebuilding two new buildings and the septic tank.

Current Activities

Despite facing challenges posed by heavy rainfall and wind, construction at Dudhauli health post is moving forward. This month the team took on the mammoth task of pouring the concrete roofs for each of the two newly constructed buildings. It’s an exciting stage of the project as the buildings take their final form. Meanwhile, the team has made great progress on the WaSH infrastructure; bricklaying for the latrine block and handwashing station is complete up to the sill band – window level and excavation for the septic tank is complete.

In conjunction with our work at the health post, we are delighted to announce that we have started work on a new Community Led Project in Dudhauli. This new project involves the construction of accessible water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infracture at the local Kamala Multicampus college, impacting over 475 students.

Partnerships Spotlight: NATAN Worldwide Disaster Relief

In addition to improving the physical infrastructure of the Health Post we are collaborating with national and international health care specialists to facilitate training and services to build capacity within the health post, with a focus on Maternal Care.
To provide the appropriate analysis of the requirements and to conduct the training, AHAH has collaborated with NATAN Worldwide Disaster Relief.
The training package has been designed in collaboration with the health post and municipality to focus not just on the staff at this health post, but to conduct health-related training that will enhance the capacity of health professionals working around the Dudhauli Municipality. The training covers a variety of areas:

  • Training on Public and Reproductive Health Promotion by Alternative; Communication Methods;
  • Training on Ultrasonography (USG);
  • Training for Female Community Health Volunteers;
  • Training On Standard FIRST AID;
  • Training On Psychosocial Aid.

We’re delighted to report that the first training sessions are underway and have been a great success.

Disaster Profile

The April 2015 Nepal Earthquake was the worst natural disaster to strike Nepal since the 1934 Nepal-Bihar Earthquake, followed by a 7.3 earthquake just three weeks later. In the following weeks, there were more than 430 aftershocks, killing 8,964 people and injuring nearly 22,000 people.

Hundreds of thousands of Nepalese were impacted and many were left homeless by the earthquake. About 16,000 schools were damaged or destroyed. In the worst affected areas, 90% of schools were destroyed.

Since responding to the earthquake 2015, All Hands and Hearts has successfully operated nine programs, completing 24 schools in total and serving 3500+ students annually across Nuwakot, Sindhupalchowk, Makwanpur and Sindhuli districts of Nepal.

During our early response phases, All Hands and Hearts also completed the safe demolition of 38 schools, 33 homes, 4 health posts and removed debris from over 180 sites. We constructed 100 transitional homes, 52 toilets, and temporary learning centres in 3 schools, along with 1 temporary health facility centre for the people who needed the help the most.

In addition to these projects, All Hands and Hearts has worked on implementing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) facilities at each of the schools constructed, including toilets and water filtration systems as needed. Across our programs we aim to build community resilience beyond construction practices and work with community members and local partners to identify Community Led Projects (CLP) that support the community to develop specialized skills. These include Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) training – preparing the community for future disasters, Female Mason Training – training Nepali women in disaster-resilient construction skills and WaSH training – equipping the community with knowledge and practices to build healthy hygiene and sanitation habits.

Most recently, while the country has been working to recover from the long-run impacts of this earthquake, it was severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The real impacts of COVID-19 started to be observed in Nepal from March 2020, after the Nepal government implemented the first nationwide lockdown. During the pandemic, the local health facilities were overwhelmed and schools were used as impromptu quarantine centers. The disaster highlighted the need for improved medical facilities and the need to develop local health capacity.

Female Mason Training: Livelihoods, Gender Equality and Disaster Risk Reduction

Our programs aim to help communities become stronger in the face of future disasters and we listen closely to understand their unique needs and find creative and meaningful ways to help.

The 2015 earthquakes highlighted a need for skilled laborers in Nepal: Even before the earthquakes, able-bodied men often had to leave families in search of job opportunities abroad. The earthquakes increased this trend dramatically.

The Female Mason Training Program trains Nepali women in earthquake resilient construction skills as a way to improve their economic situation and provide social and economic empowerment, while playing an integral role in rebuilding a more resilient Nepal. A professional Nepali mason is in charge of teaching disaster resilient building methods and trainees work in rural communities to rebuild primary and secondary schools or clinics. At the end of the program, our in-country partner facilitates the program graduates in becoming certified, which helps them acquire fairly paid employment in the future. Through subsequent jobs, program graduates then become agents for disseminating disaster-resilient construction methods in the region.

Our Female Mason Training Program was piloted at Kakaling School from January to July 2017 . Of the four women trained in the pilot , two subsequently found construction- related employment in the community, and the youngest is continuing her education. Malati, one of the trainees, told us that she liked working with people from all over the world. She feels “like I am treated equally by everyone [at AHAH], even though I am a woman.” Previously, when a government engineer showed up in the community to train homeowners how to rebuild earthquake- safe homes, Malai had tried to participate, but stopped when community members made fun of her. Now, she says, she has proof to show her neighbors that she can do the work .

Help support our Nepal Relief Program by donating today.

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