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Restoring houses and lives — rising from the rubble

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Restoring houses and lives — rising from the rubble

| News, Pray | June 14, 2016

Earthbag_Inside

It took some ingenuity, teamwork and a few kindhearted souls to rebuild a house that was destroyed by the earthquake in Nepal in April last year. And after just 24 working days, Uttam Bahadur Tamang’s family of five now have a roof over their heads, and an earthquake-resistant one at that.

Farmer and truck driver Uttam, 29, had been staying in a temporary shelter since his house in Lamagaun, Bhumeshthan-6, Dhading district, was flattened by the earthquake. But thanks to the collective efforts many parties, they now live in an “earth-bag house” which has been picked as a model for construction in other earthquake-hit villages in the district.

The walls of the house are built of sand and gravel packed in plastic bags and stacked on top of one another. The walls are then secured with metal wires, and plastered with either cement or mud. This “new technology” house can be built with local resources at minimal cost.

This innovative reconstruction was a joint effort by missionaries of the National Mission Commission of Nepal (NMCN), government officials and the Uttam family. To inculcate a sense of ownership, Uttam was required to contribute two workers to help the hired hands. He also had to feed the workers every working day.

The house was built with the financial and technical support of Steadfast Nepal Pvt. Ltd.

“All the villagers were amazed to see this speedy completion of a house with new technology   at minimal cost. They are looking forward to adopting this model for rebuilding their houses,” said AsiaCMS co-mission partner Ram Prasad Shrestra.

Ram Prasad said the house was officially handed over to Uttam on April 12, 2016, witnessed by local leaders, social workers, local church leaders and local government officials.

Uttam was very worried about whether he could afford to rebuild his house as he had no money.

“Now, he is so grateful and pleased with this wonderful gift of a house.

“I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all the partners and supporters for continuing to help financially toward rebuilding the destroyed houses and lives in Nepal,” said Ram Prasad, who is NMCN executive director.

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