Nepal Earthquake : Support for remote communities

by PHASE Nepal
Trail on the way to Runchet village of Keraunja
Trail on the way to Runchet village of Keraunja

PHASE Nepal has recently completed one of its major project called "Resilient Rehabilitation of trail project" in three earthquake affected villages in Gorkha namely Kashigau, Kerauja and Manbu. These villages are located significantly closed to the epicentre  of the Spring Earthquake 2015 and thus have suffured huge damage of live and properties during the earthquake. After the earthquake , the landslides induced by aftershocks and the following monsoon rainfall completely damaged the walking trails , the only transportation route to these villages causing mules tranportation to halt and day to day commuting extremely difficult and risky.

These reconstruction of these trails have been completed by the PHASE team its two year project  with the construction of  70 km long walking trails,5 pedestrian truss bridges, 8 pedestrian rest areas and installation of 606 meter long rope handholds and handrails to improve user safety levels.

It is very praiseworthy of PHASE team to have completed this challenging project in time. I understand how difficult it is to rebuild trails in these steep rocky terrains, says the Santa Bahadur Gurung,  elected chairperson of the Dharche Rural Municipality (Kashigaun and Keruanja area)

All the construction tasks were done on the basis of output based payment modality utilising local workers generating employment opportunities. Apart from restoring acess to these remote himalayan villages, the project also worked to advocate social equality for example providing the equal payment to both men and women for similar kinds of work.

I worked on this trail project for 50 days and earned 47,000 ruppes (about 360 pounds). I used that money for my children’s education in Lamjung," says Chin Maya Gurung. "We are happy because we received the same wage as men. We were never paid equally before," she adds.

Trail on the ridge of Kashigaun village
Trail on the ridge of Kashigaun village
A pedestrian rest build by the trail project
A pedestrian rest build by the trail project
Recently completed Healthpost building in Kerauja
Recently completed Healthpost building in Kerauja

Since the massive earthquake of 2015 in Nepal, PHASE Nepal has been working on immediate relief as well as long term recovery in some of the mostly affected areas. In this report, updates from some of the ongoing and recently completed reconstruction projects will be discussed.

  1. New Health Post buildings in Kashigaun and Keraunja (Gorkha)

PHASE Nepal has recently completed the reconstruction of two healthpost buildings, one each in Kashigaun and Keraunja of Gorkha. These new earthquake safe buildings were also equipped with all the necessary furniture and clinical materials before they were handed over to the community. In addition, PHASE has been placing additional medical staff in the villages who are providing day to day clinical services as well as community awareness events in both of the villages. Before the rebuilding, health services were being provided from temporary shelters.

"I really appreciate PHASE's efforts to bring back fully functional health services in the village."

says Lekha Rai, a government nurse in Keraunja.

These two villages lie in the northern terrain of Gorkha district with no access to motorable roads. It takes two days of walk from these villages to reach the nearest road and access the public transportation. After being completely destroyed in the earthquake, public infrastructure and individual houses are still in the process of rebuilding. The construction materials for rebuilding have to be transported to the respective locations by mules and local porters.

  1. Rebuilding 2 highschools and a healthpost and an outreach clinic in Hagam (Sindhupalchok)

As a part of our earthquake recovery project, PHASE Nepal is rebuilding two high schools, a healthpost and an outreach clinic in Hagam, Sindhupalchok. Hagam village was very severely affected by the earthquake. From its post-earthquake projects PHASE Nepal has already rebuilt and handed over 22 drinking water supply projects in the village.

PHASE Nepal had already been working in these areas for almost a decade with its integrated development projects improving health, education and livelihood opportunities of the locals before the earthquake. This presence has facilitated the timely completion of the reconstruction projects via remarkable public participation and support.

Recently completed Healthpost building-Kashigau
Recently completed Healthpost building-Kashigau
Glimpse of a settlement in Kashigaun village
Glimpse of a settlement in Kashigaun village
Glimpse of a settlement in Keraunja Village
Glimpse of a settlement in Keraunja Village


Jasmaya, a 50 year old woman, resident of Wamrang tole I ward-8 of Baramche VDC is blind. Being blind life was not easy for her and after the earthquake there were more miseries. Firstly she had to live in temporary shelter to which she was not accustomed to. Secondly it had become difficult for her to do her daily chores. There are 20 HHs in Wamrang tole with a population of 105. Most of the households in the tole belong to indigenous Tamang community.

After the earthquake PHASE Nepal constructed a Drinking Water supply scheme in the village. It benefitted all the villagers but Jasmaya was the happiest of all. Her happiness knew no bounds after the construction of the drinking water system. The reasons for her happiness were the drinking water was near her how which enables her to fetch water whenever she needs it. Her physical strain alongwith the fear of getting hurt to fetch water from far off distance has vanished into thin air. She is very particular regarding hygiene and cleanliness and with the availability she can maintain her hygiene and cleanliness habit. Most important of all was the fact that the community people realized that even differently able people are capable of contributing in community development work in a major way.  The most important lesson that we learn while constructing the drinking water project was the fact that people who are differently able can also contribute equally in the development works says Secretary of the drinking water User's committee Mr. Pemba Lama. Jasmaya is a glaring example of it.  He further added that the total cost of the drinking water scheme was Rs 418,000/- of which 10% of the cost that stands at Rs 42,000/- was contributed by community people in kind. It has helped in creating a sense of ownership among the community people

A temporary shelter in Hagam, Sindhupalchok
A temporary shelter in Hagam, Sindhupalchok

Two years ago today disaster hit Nepal. Two of the regions that PHASE Nepal works closely with were among those most affected by the earthquake: Gorkha - the epicentre, and Sindhupalchok. Sajjan, a PHASE staff member who grew up in Hagam, Sindhupalchok and still works in the region remembers: “Most households were changed by PHASE Nepal, but the earthquake brought everything back to the beginning.”


In the last two years PHASE has accomplished so much. Within hours of the earthquake, PHASE Nepal teams were providing emergency aid and care to those injured. After the first few days of emergency response PHASE led teams to the villages and delivered aid based on the needs of each village. Sunita a PHASE Project Manager recalls: “there was a shortage of metal sheets needed to construct temporary shelters and we used to queue for them, it was very hard, then we figured how to get sheets from India. We had trouble arranging transportation. All the helicopters were engaged. We would go to the airport very early and queue to be able to send materials to the villages.” Despite all these difficulties, PHASE Nepal was able to provide 13,000 families with direct emergency relief.


Bikash started working at PHASE Nepal as an Assistant Education Trainer in 2013. We asked him a few questions about his experience of the earthquake and what has changed in the last two years.


At the time of the earthquake, he recalls: “My own house was broken but I felt that I should come to the office. I came and saw that the entire operation had moved out to a tent. I stayed two hours and then went to my home village to see family. On the fourth day after the earthquake, PHASE started buying materials and setting out to help. If there was no PHASE Nepal, I would have dwelled on my own emotions but because PHASE exists my emotions were focused on being able to help. I would come to office at 7 am, and then go to a village to distribute emergency relief and not be back until to 1 am.”


It has been 2 years since the earthquake, what has changed in your life?


“After the earthquake there were tremors, and my family slept for at least two months in a tent in the field.” Our house was damaged, but PHASE provided a hardship allowance and by the first anniversary of the earthquake we had mended our house and slowly life has begun to return to normal.”


Since the earthquake, Bikash has celebrated three big family events: his two sisters have gotten married, and he and his wife have welcomed a new baby. At work, Bikash says the earthquake was an opportunity to challenge himself, step out of his comfort zone and show what he was capable of. “Prior to the earthquake I was working on one project and I am currently working on over twelve,” Bikash says. After the earthquake, he became project coordinator and most recently in February 2017, he was promoted to project manager.


What has changed at PHASE since the earthquake?


“PHASE’s goal is to provide integrated development through health, education and livelihood. Disaster relief after the earthquake was a new experience, but I think we were very successful.  Many people who supported PHASE during the earthquake became interested in what we do; many new donors and organisations have connected with PHASE and continue to support us and that is why projects have expanded and we are working in many more villages.”


PHASE Nepal’s central office has returned to relative normalcy even if the pace and extent of activities has increased. Many of the projects PHASE is managing today are related to earthquake recovery. Here are a few of the activities that PHASE Nepal has accomplished and is continuing to work towards two years on from the earthquake:


  • 600 toilets have been constructed across Sindhupalchok region since the earthquake.
  • 400 water taps have been built in Sindhupalchok
  • 65 km of trail are being reconstructed in Gorkha
  • 200 Temporary Learning Centres constructed across regions affected by the earthquake
  • 8 classrooms have been rebuilt using earthquake resistant methods
  • Construction will begin on 2 permanent schools this year
  • 3 Health Posts have been rebuilt - 2 in Gorkha and 1 in Sindhupalchok
  • 50 teachers were trained in post trauma teaching



All of this has been possible by generous donations from our supporters. PHASE Nepal continues to rely on donations to help fund our sustainable Health, Education, and Livelihood projects and earthquake recovery efforts. On the occasion of the second anniversary of the earthquake all donations to PHASE Nepal made today will be doubled by Global Giving – please support us if you can.

Bikash, Project Manager at PHASE Nepal
Bikash, Project Manager at PHASE Nepal

Joglal, a resident of Sipa village in ward-3 of Tauthali VDC belongs to a poor family. His father's profession was to play Shehnai in the village and with the passage of time he learnt the art of playing shehnai from his father.  It was the only source of income with which he fed his family but with great difficulty. Leave alone going to school,  Joglal was at times unable to buy shoes which he needed as he would roam around village playing shehnai. When hand to mouth survival is a challenge, people worry about it only ignoring or paying little attention to other things like cleanliness sanitation and education.

Joglal says "Since childhood I defecated in the open. I was used to it. We in the village thought toilets are used by rich and well-off people. Poor people do not have the means to construct toilets in their home nor are they supposed to use it. I would defecate in the open and would do it in different places. Even if people would see me, I would ignore as I was used to it.  With the passage of time, the population in the village increased and with it the rate of open defecation in the village. As a result the village started becoming filthy. There would be bad odor around. Slowly and gradually we realized and learnt that toilet is used not only by rich and well-off people but by people from all walks of life use it to maintain cleanliness, hygiene and health. With this realization the need for using toilet for defecation was felt by all in the village. The local government also planned to declare the district as open defecation free. The toilets were constructed and we started using toilets".

But the earthquake in April 2015, destroyed everything including our houses and toilets. People again started defecating in the open. When PHASE Nepal came to our village, all the villagers requested the organization to support in the construction of toilet. We were living in temporary shelter and open defecation was making the environment around filthy. PHASE heeded our request and provided us CGI sheets, cement, toilet pan and rod for the construction of toilet. The contribution of the villagers was labour work.  After toilet construction the village has become clean once again. We are thankful to PHASE Nepal for their support, informed Joglal.


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Organization Information


Location: Kathmandu - Nepal
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Maya Gurung
Kathmandu, Kathmandu Nepal
$56,390 raised of $75,000 goal
551 donations
$18,610 to go
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