A year of temporary living
By blogger: at 2016-06-12 00:00:00
Apr 25, 2016- The road that leads to the village is a dirt track that continuously climbs steep uphill for the better part of the hour-long drive from Battar in the PashungLamhu Highway. As we get off our vehicle on the top of a mountain dotted with zinc sheets, there is no mistaking that these are earthquake survivors. As far as the eye can see, none of the private houses seem intact.
We see four men and one woman neatly piling stones on top of each other collected from the debris, while an excavator levels the slopes to prepare the foundation for the village’s new health post. The old health post crumbled and collapsed as the Gorkha earthquake struck on April 25. But villagers and health workers quickly salvaged medicine and equipment to relocate the health facility to another building of the local government. Most homes in this village of 1471 families have been rendered uninhabitable.
Even as uncertainty hangs over rebuilding of their own homes, the villagers came together to generously donate 4 ropanis of land for the health post to be rebuilt to satisfy the new government regulations on rebuilding of public facilities. The constant fear of another powerful tremor may have subsided as frequency of aftershocks become less, but questions about how they will rebuild their homes weigh heavy on their mind. “We don’t think the money given by the government is adequate,” said Badri Prasad Bhatta, who was among the seven people who donated land for rebuilding the health facility even as his own house is far from rebuilt. “We don’t need cash, let the government build it for us within the money they have allocated.”