Lamjung after the Earthquake
Nepal, a country with the most mountainous terrain on earth, was hit with a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on April 25th, 2015. This dark day in Nepal’s history killed, at present count, 8000 people. In addition, over 300,000 homes are estimated to be destroyed throughout the central part of the country.
Lamjung is the district adjacent to the epicenter, and felt the effects throughout the terraced hills, dotted with farming villages. Even though the number of casualties is lower than in neighboring Gorkha district, the damage to homes and other structures was significant. Estimates are that 6700 were completely destroyed and another 2700 are in urgent need of repair.
The second earthquake of May 12th, 2015, further increased the rebuilding need, as many homes that were damaged in the first earthquake collapsed completely.
Life in Lamjung
Villages in Lamjung are similar to what is found throughout the Middle Hills of Nepal. Yes, they call them hills, even though in most places these would definitely be mountains, but with the Himalayas as a backdrop, these become hills.
Most of the villagers are primarily farmers, growing their own food, even if they have another job outside of the home. There are also many who live as subsistence farmers, with very little cash income. The hills have been terraced over the generations, to create rice paddies, and the planting season begins as the monsoons start in late May or early June.
With this type of economy, consisting of mostly subsistence farmers, it is understandable that creating seismically sound houses was a challenge beyond what the residents of these villages were able to address on their own.
On September 18th, 2015, the rebuilding of Rainaskot was officially inaugurated in coordination with local officials, the villagers, the team on the ground and the overseas supporters. The construction is now fully in process with five homes near completion and
This is a Gurung village, in a fairly remote location. We were the first to deliver relief supplies after the earthquake, and we are committed to rebuilding the 20 uninhabitable homes. Prior to the earthquake, Rainaskot was proud to be a model village for visitors to visit and experience traditional Gurung life. Our commitment to rebuilding will help to restore the economic sustainability of this village and allow the villagers to remain in these homes.