Rebuilding in Nepal After Devastating Earthquakes

August 31, 2017 • Nepal
A dedication ceremony in Rayale, Nepal, where Samaritan's Purse is rebuilding homes destroyed in the 2015 earthquakes.
A dedication ceremony in Rayale, Nepal, where Samaritan's Purse is rebuilding homes destroyed in the 2015 earthquakes.

Samaritan's Purse has rebuilt homes for nearly 150 families in the remote Rayale Village.

Caralee Giebeig and her husband Paul live in Nepal. Paul is senior programs manager for Samaritan’s Purse in Nepal.

Samaritan’s Purse staff in Nepal recently participated in a celebration following the completion of a housing rebuild effort in Rayale village. The village bustled with excitement and we were warmly welcomed with flower necklaces and scarves. The special day also featured a band and dancers.

Rayale is in Kavre District, one of six districts where Samaritan’s Purse is rebuilding homes after devastating earthquakes hit the region in 2015. The death toll from back-to-back earthquakes ultimately surpassed 8,000. Some villages were completely wiped out.

Earthbag homes are strong, earthquake-resistant structures.

Earthbag homes are strong, earthquake-resistant structures.

About half the population in Kavre was homeless after the earthquake and more than 30,000 homes were damaged or destroyed. The livelihood of families was crippled, as many rely on subsistence farming with little economic surplus to fall back on.

Samaritan’s Purse has built 147 earthbag homes in Rayale. In Methenkot, another community in Kavre, 203 homes have been built with 50 more still to come.

Our staff is also bringing physical relief and spiritual comfort through efforts such as water, sanitation, and hygiene projects; livelihood skills development; trainings on how to build earthquake-resistant structures; and trainings on disaster risk reduction and recovery preparedness.

Earthbags are used in rebuilding homes because they create protective barriers that are strong and reliable. The walls are substantial and durable, able to withstand severe weather such as earthquakes and floods.

Beneficiary Kesheri and Samaritan's Purse Nepal Country Director Melody Moshkowski.

Beneficiary Kesheri and Samaritan’s Purse Nepal country director Melody Moshkowski.

Earthbag homes are very economical and are filled with local, natural materials, which allows for a more sustainable architecture. Stone is used for the foundation and wood for the framing.

Samaritan’s Purse and the community worked together to see the home rebuilds through to completion. Each beneficiary household volunteered about 50 days and worked on their home. The also community provided the wood and stone.

Kesheri Maya Tamang is one of the Rayale earthbag home beneficiaries. On the day of the ceremony she beamed with pride, excitement, and gratitude.

Kesheri still lives with vivid, painful memories of the earthquake that destroyed her home and turned her village to dust. Yet, her new home brings much joy and hope for a brighter future for her family.