AHV and Beneficiaries at Goodbye Ceremony
All Hands Volunteers is pleased to report that the Resilient Homes (referred to locally as Hamro Ramro Ghar, or “Home Sweet Home”) project in Bansbari, Sindhupalchok successfully wrapped up on March 28, 2016. For three months, All Hands' team of local and international volunteers worked alongside beneficiary homeowners to build 50 earthquake resilient homes to replace those destroyed in last spring’s earthquakes. Highlights of the program were the opportunities for community participation and the construction of private sanitation facilities to improve the health and dignity of the community.
All Hands put in place training and educational programs not only to assist the community immediately after the disaster, but to leave a more resilient community behind. Twenty-nine people (including 10 women) participated in masonry training under the direction of a government of Nepal-approved professionals. The new skills enabled the beneficiaries to be integrally involved in the process of recovery by adding walls of salvaged materials or hollow block to the earthquake resilient superstructure of their new homes. The trainees helped less able neighbors do the same, and now they have marketable skills in disaster resilient construction. Meanwhile, All Hands also facilitated a PASSA (Participatory Approach to Safer Shelter Awareness) program which took interested community members through a series of sessions to explore disaster risks and solutions in the community. By the end of the sessions, the PASSA groups had come up with micro-projects designed to make their communities less vulnerable in future disasters: rainwater catchment gutter systems, community lighting, and burying water pipes for protection. The community will implement the projects next month with seed funding and initial guidance from a small group from All Hands Volunteers.
Part of the needs assessment for the project included analyzing the ongoing sanitation situation in order to address serious health and protection concerns in post-disaster Nepal. Forty percent of the toilets in Sindhupalchok District were destroyed or damaged by the earthquake, raising the incidence of diseases like cholera, and increasing the vulnerability of women and girls. In the end, All Hands constructed 52 toilets in Bansbari, approximately half of which served those Home Sweet Home recipients whose toilets had also been damaged/destroyed. The remainder of the toilets replaced other damaged facilities in the community. Each family with a toilet was given hand washing equipment (soap, buckets with taps). Because families in Bansbari share toilet facilities with neighbors, the overall impact is that now 356 people (73 families) have a access to the modesty and health benefits afforded by appropriate sanitation facilities.
In conclusion, despite challenges of accessing remote villages during a fuel crisis and working on the rocky, steep terrain, All Hands was able to empower community of approximately 130 families to take part in its own recovery – 210 people now live in safer homes, 356 people have access to proper toilets, and the entire community has been included in the process, either via PASSA, masonry training or receiving key messaging materials on safe building methods. In a final demonstration of commitment and caring, it was decided to gift the “training house” – a prototype structure situated next to the local school and which was used to train the volunteers and later the masons – to the community as a much needed school room. Together the All Hands team and community finished the walls, complete with cheery paint, and repaired the school toilet. The new classroom was handed over to Bhanjyang Primary School and the community during the goodbye ceremony on March 28th.
A heartfelt thanks you to our online Global Giving donors, who along with other donors, made it possible to rebuild hope and resilience in Bansbari!
Finished Latrine System
Beneficiary Family in front of Makeshift Shelter
New Bhanjyang School with Rain Catchment System
Finished Temporary Shelter