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April-May 2020 | Features

Thank you Rotarians for helping rebuild Nepal

Thank you Rotarians for helping rebuild Nepal

Rotarian Tirtha Man Shakya is chair of the Earthquake Relief, Rehabilitation and Construction Programme for District 3292 which covers the mountainous regions of Nepal and Bhutan. Here, Tirtha offers an insight into how Nepalese Rotarians worked with the rest of the world in rebuilding his country.

In the aftermath of the mega earthquake in Nepal in April 2015, affecting 31 out of 75 districts in the country, producing widespread destruction of household and public facilities, as well as the loss of more than 8,000 lives, Rotary International’s District 3292 (Nepal-Bhutan) and 47 Rotary clubs took proactive measures to immediately mobilise internal resources, as well as resources from national and international organisations.

Following District 3292’s appeal made through Rotary International, immediate relief assistance such as food, shelter, blankets, free medicine, and drinking water was provided by Rotary clubs.

After the initial relief stage, District 3292, through its clubs, continued to extend humanitarian assistance to affected families to address their immediate needs for temporary transitional shelter to help them cope with the impending monsoon season in June and July.

To address the longer-term needs of families affected by the earthquake, District 3292 formulated a five-year long-term plan called ‘Earthquake Relief, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction Programme’ (ERRRP) to mobilise resources and to support the families affected in the 14 worst affected districts.

The District extended humanitarian support to build 3,800 temporary shelters, provide drinking water supply and household sanitary facilities, and solar lights for about 3,800 families to last the monsoon season.

Rotarians played a very vital role to help the earthquake victims by providing humanitarian support.”

Similarly, a number of Temporary Learning Centres were also supported to allow the schools affected by the earthquake to provide continuous learning opportunities to children.

The devastating impact of the earthquake obliged Rotary and other humanitarian agencies to continue providing rehabilitation and reconstruction assistance for a longer period.

The humanitarian contribution from donors received by District 3292 allowed it to support the reconstruction of 164 low-cost permanent houses and one community hall for the neediest families in a model Rotary village approach in the most affected districts of Sindhupalchok, Kavre, and Lalitpur.

For the construction of these 164 low cost permanent houses and one community hall, the ERRRP has spent 51.48 million Nepalese Rupees (NRs) (£360,000).

nepal earthquake

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake killed nearly 9,000 people and injured 22,000 more.

The District shifted its focus from reconstruction of houses to reconstruction of schools damaged by the earthquake where there was still a larger funding gap, after the Government of Nepal initiated a large scale programme for the reconstruction of homes for the families affected.

Accordingly, as of June 2019, District 3292 as part of the ERRRP, has extended support to 24 schools damaged by the earthquake with the reconstruction of 67 classrooms to serve approximately 2,000 students to have educational opportunities in a safe learning environment.

The Rotary District’s financial assistance for school reconstruction has succeeded in building a partnership with a wide range of partners, including local governments, in mobilising funds to match ERRRP.

For the reconstruction and renovation of these 24 schools, the total amount required was NRs 146.47 million (£1.04 million), out of which ERRRP has contributed NRs 60.13 million (£430,000) and the balance of NRs 86.34 (£610,000) was contributed by local Rotary clubs, local governments, school management committees and other organisations.

47 Rotary clubs took proactive measures to immediately mobilise internal resources, as well as resources from national and international organisations.”

Rotary District 3292 still has a balance fund of NRs 37.67 (£270,000) to continue supporting the reconstruction of other schools in need. About 13 more schools can be reconstructed by this balance fund.

In this difficult time of the devastating earthquake of Nepal, all the Rotary clubs and Rotarians under District 3292 played a very vital role to help the earthquake victims by providing the humanitarian support in the form of cash, kindness and time.

Many of the overseas Rotary clubs and districts were also actively involved in this mission. The impact of the works done by the Rotary clubs is very visible at quake-affected areas. It was highly appreciated by the community, as well as local and central Government.

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