Ground has been broken on the Dhading District's first and only disaster relief center. In fact we're only aware of one other such facility in the entire country of Nepal. In the past year and half, work has been progressing slowly throughout Nepal to recover from the massive 2015 quakes. Meanwhile at various locations in Nepal there have been huge landslides and severe flooding. No where are there Emgergency Preparedness Shelters equipped to assist people in times of trouble nor are there command and control centers to help villages organize in disasters.
We're building a complete center to serve the villages surrounding Her Farm. When complete the center will have a medical clinic, small medical lab to support the clinic, a tailoring center to make clothing for disaster victims, 10,000 gallons of freshwater supply, sleeping area for up to 150 people, kitchen capable of feeding 150 people a day, solar and other backup power systems, multiple toilets, a local FM radio to disseminate news throughout the local communities and trained staff to manage everything.
We have trained one girl as a nurse who is now on duty at Her Farm and we have two other local girls from the village in training, one to be a nurse assistant and one as a lab technician. In addition we have others from the village in training as veterinary technicain to care for any injured livestock and agricultural technician to oversee and assist with farm recovery efforts following disasters. We have one woman on the staff fully trained in FM radio operation and we are training other women in photography and videography to mobilize as field observers for disasters.
There is nothing else like this anywhere in Nepal. The building itself is paid for thanks to donors. We are now seeking help for beds, blankets, huge pots and pans to prepare large quantities of food, bowls and cups, stainless steel food prep tables and kitchen utensils as well as medical lab equipment and FM radio equipment.
Estimated completion of construction with be in 6 months.
Rebuilding things in Nepal takes a very long time. The GoN has only provided relief to a handful of families, though we've provided nearly $50,000 to families in our area for rebuilding, many will not move ahead sans government funding.
The planned disaster center is moving ahead thanks to a generous donor. In Nepal, there isn't a system of "safe places" that are stocked and ready to take in those impacted by quakes, landslides or other natural disasters such as we have in the West. There isn't a disaster response agency, emergency radio network or designated gathering place. There soon will be at Her Farm. We are about to start construction on a 5000sf facility that will house a medical clinic, small medical lab, food supplies, tailor and clothmaking shop and provide room for 150 people to live in times of disaster.
The disaster center will have solar and battery back up systems for power, water and food stores and even a community FM radio station (owned and operated by the women of Her Farm, of course) to disseminate critical information to the villages served. While funding for the building of the disaster center has been secured. Funding for cots, cooking equipment, blankets, emergency food stocks and for the radio station has not been secured so we are counting on all of you at GlobalGiving to lend a hand and help us create one of the very few disaster preparedness centers in Nepal.
The local school was damaged but we do not have any funds to enable us to offer to rebuild it. The damaged school is still being used, though it is flagged by the government as unsafe. There isn't any alternative at the moment but to use the school even in it's present condition. The land the school sits on is too small to construct any temporary classrooms on. We are negotiating a land-swap with a family in the village who owns land that adjoins the school grounds. We own a nice piece of farmland, with a good house, not far from the school If we are succesful in trading that for the land that adjoins the school we can construct some temporary classrooms and move out of the condemed school house. Then, whenever we can find funds we can get that condemned school rebuilt. If the landowner will not trade properties with us we will have to wait until the disaster preparedness center is built, then perhaps we can shift classes there temporarily while the current schoolhouse is knocked down and rebuilt.
We are moving ahead with rebuilding the toilets at the school and including a biogas design that will capture methane gas for use with a stove burner. That will allow the school to boil water for safe drinking water.
Dear Her Farm Supporter,
So much has happened recently at Her Farm that it's hard to know where to begin. As our last report said, our family grew with the addition of more women and children and there's now 28 people living full-time at Her Farm. As many of you know, following the 2015 earthquakes our village sustained a lot of damage. Most homes were destroyed, the water supply for the village failed and left us with barely enough drinking water and no water for crop irrigation, the road to the village, a lifeline for supplies in and farm products was damaged and even if the road hadn't been damaged, the single truck that brought supplies up and took crops out broke down. That's a lot of challenges to face all at once. The women of Her Farm are some of the most extraordinary people you will meet anyplace on earth. They faced each and every challenge head on and solved them all, with your financial help. The women are in charge of the community loan fund which provides zero interest loans and flexible repayment terms to anyone in the village wanting to rebuild their home. The Government has been slow to respond and only a handful of those who lost homes have received any assistance from the GoN to date. But the women of Her Farm have managed over $50,000 in loans to those who chose not to wait on the government but to rebuild now. One family not only rebuilt from these loans but added to it's herd of dairy cows and dairy buffalo and is now selling paneer to buyers in Kathmandu and supporting themselves well from the sales.
Buying and selling of land in Nepal is considered a man's job. Few, very few women even own land, (unlike the women of Her Farm who own the farm) so when we needed to negotiate the purchase of a parcel of land that had a very productive water resource on it, you can imagine what the landowner first thought when tiny, 22 year old Usha showed up for the negotiations. The landowner of course wanted to know where her husband, or brother or some other male family member was and was at first reluctant to believe this demure, young woman could possibly be a serious buyer. In the end. he capitulated and the deal was done. The land, and the precious water resource it held became part of Her Farm. But, that's not the end of the story. The women of Her Farm still needed to get the water from where it was to where it needed to be. They contracted 38 local men to trench and lay pipe so the water would reach a 10,000 gallon water tank at Her Farm. From that tank nearly the entire village is once again supplied with plenty of water. Amazing undertaking.
Next, the women tackled the road issue. Again, with support from GlobalGiving we were able to completely regrade the road to the village and in the process also made it twice as wide as it had been before. To widen the road required that the private farm land on both sides of the road be given up by its owners. Convincing a struggling Nepali farmer to give up precious farm land for the greater good of the community is no mean feat, but it happened. Every single landowner cooperated.
Her Farm is about to begin it's final post-earthquake project which is to prepare for the next disaster. In Nepal, there isn't a system of "safe places" that are stocked and ready to take in those impacted by quakes, landslides or other natural disasters such as we have in the West. There isn't a disaster response agency, emergency radio network or designated gathering place. There soon will be at Her Farm. We are about to start construction on a 5000sf facility that will house a medical clinic, small medical lab, food supplies, tailor and clothmaking shop and provide room for 150 people to live in times of disaster. The disaster center will have solar and battery back up systems for power, water and food stores and even a community FM radio station (owned and operated by the women of Her Farm, of course) to disseminate critical information to the villages served.
Funding for the building of the disaster center has been secured. Funding for cots, cooking equipment, blankets, emergency food stocks and for the radio station has not been secured so we are counting on all of you at GlobalGiving to lend a hand and help us create one of the very few disaster preparedness centers in Nepal.