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news | May 30, 2016 | Nepal | Emergency

Keeping families warm in remote areas of Nepal: Six months of intervention in retrospect

A beneficiary receives help for the construction of her shelter in Ramechhap district - ACTED Nepal, 2016

Between November 2015 and April 2016, ACTED implemented a post-earthquake relief project focused on winterization, masons training and technical support in Okhaldhunga and Ramechhap districts, with funding from UKaid from the UK government.

A six-month intervention in underserved Okhaldhunga and Ramechhap districts to help populations go through the harsh Nepalese winter

Ramechhap and Okhaldhunga districts suffered great losses due to the earthquakes that struck Nepal in 2015, with an estimated 18,078 houses destroyed or damaged. However, they received very little support due to poor infrastructure and accessibility issues that have severely impeded humanitarian intervention. As part of this project, ACTED has endeavoured to protect some 3,300 earthquake-affected households from cold weather by supplying shelter materials such as iron sheets and non-food items such as winter clothes and blankets. To support the reconstruction phase in Nepal, ACTED also trained 100 masons in build back safer techniques within this project. Those masons then supported over 650 vulnerable households in building a temporary shelter.

From precarious to solid temporary shelters and protection: Life goes on, while waiting for long-term reconstruction

Prakash Shrestha is 53 years old and dwells in the remote area of Khijichandeshwori, Okhaldhunga district. When the earthquake struck Okhaldhunga last year, his house was entirely destroyed. He and his family found themselves without a shelter. They precariously attempted to protect themselves from the sun and rain using tarpaulin sheets. The situation was critical for Prakash and his family, as they were short of food and their shelter was too fragile to cope with the monsoon season. Prakash tried to obtain assistance, but support was not available, due to the important amount of needs and the remoteness of the area, which hampered the delivery of relief assistance. Then, ACTED launched its project and Prakash’s family was identified as a vulnerable household.

Thanks to this project, and like many other isolated and poor households in these two underserved districts, Prakash received materials to build a solid shelter and items to keep his family warm during the winter season, which he could not have afforded otherwise. Furthermore, ACTED provided them with mason and unskilled labour support to assemble the shelter. Prakash and his family now live in a proper shelter. Nepal is now engaging in the reconstruction phase, which will last many years. In addition to shelter, most households have also asked for support to restart their livelihood activities and also for a greater access to water, education and health facilities.

Prakash says: “ACTED Nepal protected and cared for me and my family in this critical situation, I am forever grateful.”