Nuwakot villagers lead by exampleWhile life limps back to normal, people in a number of quake-ravaged VDCs in Nuwakot district are building temporary shelters without the government’s help.
A month since the devastating earthquake, villagers said the state’s lacklustre response and the looming rainy season had pushed them to set up their own shelters.
Dhan Prasad Dhakal, 53, had constructed a makeshift shelter 10 days after the disaster. After spending the first two nights under the open sky, Dhakal bought a tarpaulin as help did not arrive. When the tent could not withstand heat, showers and winds, he built a temporary shelter using local resources instead of awaiting aid help from the government or organisations. Bharat Giri of Haldekalika-2 and a number of others have erected shelters for their families.
The victims, tired of waiting for the government assistance, used locally available resources after tarpaulins distributed to around 58,000 households became useless against winds and downpours. Even as political parties have deployed their cadres in the VDCs hit hard by the quakes, locals have not sought their help.
A women’s group has been actively participating in the campaign. According to Usha Tamang, chairperson of the 16-member Mirmire Group in Haldekali-6, they had been taking turns to jointly construct shelters for each member. In three weeks, clusters of tarp tents have been replaced by corrugated metal sheet-roofed huts.
According to local social leaders, teachers and volunteers, almost 80 percent structures have been set up in several VDCs using galvanised zinc sheets.
Updating on the situation, Lumbadi Prasad Dhamal, 49, of Simle VDC said their priority was to build structures that withstand rain. People in one municipality and 61 VDCs are now wholly involved in building huts to tide away the rains and heat.
Mukunda Acharya, member of a struggle committee for the landless, said while some locals had trimmed their houses to the ground floor, others have been using poultry farms as shelter.
Volunteers deployed by parties are engaged in the repair and reconstruction of public facilities such as school, road, drainage and health posts.