Reconstruction efforts are gathering pace in Nepal more than a year after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the country on April 25, 2015, causing massive destruction of infrastructure and killing more than 9,000 people. The Nepal Jesuit Social Institute (NJSI) has been actively involved in relief and rehabilitation work and is now concentrating its efforts on supporting the building and rebuilding of schools, hostels, houses and women’s shelters in different districts.
Construction of the Shree Haleshwar Higher Secondary School in Suri Village Development Committee (VDC) in Dolkha will be completed soon despite work being slowed down by landslides. Semi-permanent structures for the Ban Sangu School situated below the Jure landslide are also expected to be completed before long. The school lost nearly 40 children in the landslide that hit the village two years ago, and was further damaged by last year’s earthquake. Construction is also in progress at five other schools – Golma Devi School in Manka VDC, Shree Bageshwari Higher Secondary School in Bageshwari VDC, Shree Bhairavi Higher Secondary School in Bidur Metropolitan, Shree Chandeshwari Higher Secondary School in Tupche VDC, and Sunkoshi College in Pagretar VDC
The hostels for special children in Nuwakot are now being rebuilt. When they are ready, 62 students will be able to stay in them and return to school. Since the hostels were destroyed in the earthquake, many of these children have stopped going to school altogether. Another hostel for special children is being constructed in Sangachowk in partnership with the Italian non-government organisation Amici Dei Bambini and the government of Nepal.
On September 21, NJSI handed over a semi-permanent building to the management of Panchakanya Primary School located at Mankha-9 VDC in Sindhupalchowk. The building has two big rooms, one of which is a classroom for Early Childhood Development (ECD). Apart from turning over the school building, NJSI also distributed uniforms, school bags, shoes, socks, ECD kits, carpets and furniture for the students and teachers. Many students left the school after the earthquake destroyed it because there were no proper classrooms or facilities. Now that they have a new building, the school hopes to attract more students back.
Housing construction is set to start in Mahankal -1 VDC with the release of the first tranche of payment to build the foundation of new houses for 73 families living in Gylthum village. In Kavrepalanchok, a multi-purpose hall for women in the Panchkhal Municipality is being planned and a safe space hall for women is being constructed in Rakathum village, Ramechhap.
The Nepal Jesuit Society established the Nepal Jesuit Social Institute in May 2015 to respond to the needs of the survivors of the devastating earthquake a month earlier. For more information on its rehabilitation projects for the earthquake survivors, visit http://www.njsi.org.np.