International Program Feb. 12, 2019

Disaster-resilient homes Nepal

Supporting families' reconstruction needs

In 2017, Habitat for Humanity Canada and Habitat Nepal began working together to improve the lives of families in the Kavre and Nuwakot Districts of Nepal. Habitat is providing grants to 30 low-income families in Kavre to enable them to build new homes. These grants are for the construction of new core houses, or small, secure homes that can be extended onto in future as families need. These core homes are disaster resilient and designed in collaboration with the government. Grants are issued in three installments as Habitat Nepal also provides technical assistance to families through every step in their construction process with visits from local engineers and experts.

In addition, more families in Tupche, Nuwakot will receive building materials for repairs and retrofits, as well as additional support in the form of labour. The project will take place through 2018 and will directly benefit 100 families or more.

The devastating 2015 earthquake in Nepal left more than 8,700 people dead and resulted in large-scale damage to hundreds of thousands of homes. But even before the earthquake, the country's housing need was acute and growing. But since the 2015 earthquakes the housing need has grown significantly, as more than 498,000 houses were destroyed and over 256,000 houses damaged.

Binda's life went on a downward spiral after the earthquakes in 2015. Her husband passed away unexpectedly at the age of 31 and Binda was devastated, a young widow with two children to feed and no proper place to live.

Fortunately her life took another turn, when Habitat Nepal started rebuilding work in her area in the Nuwakot District of Nepal. With the support of her community, international volunteers, and technical and financial assistance from Habitat Nepal, Binda was able to build a house that she can call her own.

"I am very pleased to have a new house. I am grateful to Habitat for Humanity," says Binda. "Having my own house frees me from so many anxieties. Now I can focus on educating my children."

Working with families and communities

Habitat Nepal works in partnership with the local community organizations and the government of Nepal ensure that the most vulnerable families are identified and selected for support based on current living conditions, damages to their houses, and financial capacity.

Once selected, families receive financial support as well as technical support through local engineers who visit the families to ensure safe, disaster resilient construction. These families often contribute their own labour and savings with technical support and oversight provided by Habitat and local partners. In addition, to support the home building process Habitat also sends international and local volunteers to help build alongside them.