Build Back Better

by United Mission to Nepal

On 25th April 2015 at 11:56 local time, a powerful earthquake rattled central Nepal. The earthquake measured 7.8 magnitudes and had its epicentre at Barpak, 76 km northwest of the capital Kathmandu. A second major quake of 6.8 magnitudes struck on 12th May and over 400 aftershocks of magnitude 4.0 or greater continued to send waves of panic to the people near the epicentres. It was hard to imagine flourishing when so much was destroyed.

Dhading was one of the worst affected districts. The Post Disaster Needs Assessment completed by the District Disaster Response Committee (DDRC) reported that 681 lives were lost and 92% of houses (81,313 completely and 30,094 partially) in the district were severely damaged by the earthquake. Additionally, 318 schools with 3094 rooms collapsed, 49 Health posts collapsed, and 51 government office buildings collapsed. It is also estimated that 22,292 livestock and 11,939,000 kilograms of foods were lost during the earthquake. Five communities1 in the northern part of the district were prioritized by the DDRC as highly effected because 100% of houses had collapsed.

Because these communities are also located in the high Himalayan zone, they were particularly isolated. They had lost family members, shelter, water supplies, food stores, tools of their livelihood as well as experiencing landslides that disrupted the trails that connect villages together. The mental stresses and trauma were significant.