Building Self-Reliance in Nepal

Apr 25, 2019

This is Mangali.

After the earthquake, Mangali and her family felt lucky that they and their cattle were unharmed. They were left with rubble where their house once stood and all their belongings buried underneath. Mangali and her wheelchair-bound husband lived in a temporary shelter for two years. Things changed after Habitat Nepal invited Mangali to undertake safe shelter training with her local community members. Mangali gained confidence to navigate government support services and access vital reconstruction grants. Through these she was able to rebuild her home safer and stronger.

“With support from Habitat Nepal and my community, I was able to rebuild an earthquake resilience house. If I hadn’t partnered with Habitat Nepal, we would still be living in the temporary shelter…. we are ready for the new beginning.”

The 25th April, ANZAC Day, was the four-year anniversary of the first of the devastating 2015 Nepal earthquakes. It was followed by another on 12th May 2015 and several aftershocks.

Nepal is prone to natural disasters and who knows when the next big one might hit. That’s why it’s so important that we not only help families to develop true self-reliance.

This is more than rebuilding safe, strong homes. It’s also about giving communities vital skills and knowledge, so that they can recover faster should a disaster strike. Through this communities are transformed, as they work together to ensure no one is left behind. This is what the safe shelter training does.

With Habitat’s safe shelter training, families like Mangali’s can take control of their lives.

Habitat safe shelter training takes different forms, but what remains the same is that the communities lead the work. The training in Samoa, Fiji and Nepal are all unique. Each community has its own unique challenges and priorities.

In Nepal in the Kavrepalanchowk and Nuwakot Districts, this means building bridges and retaining walls, improving community centres, planting bamboo to reduce the risk of landslides, and working with vulnerable households in their own communities to rebuild their homes.

Communities who undertake safe shelter training have recovered from the earthquake faster. Families support each other and it is their motivation, resilience and self-reliance which creates sustainable change.

If you want to go far, go together.