Nepal earthquake: Training local people to build back safer

Sunita, a mason in Nepal trained by CARE in 'build back safer' construction techniques; and statistics on the number of people who have received shelter assistance from CARE in Nepal since the 2015 earthquakes (HHs = households)

Thanks to CARE, it’s easy and cheap to build houses with the help of skilled masons from our own village.

Single mother Pyaksi (Sunita) Pariyar has been working as an unskilled mason ever since her husband left her and their two young daughters 15 years ago. So Sunita was an obvious choice to receive training from CARE, working with our local partner Group of Helping Hands (Nepal), in how to build earthquake-resilient houses.

At first, the house owner didn’t agree to use earthquake resilient construction techniques as he thought it would be too expensive. However, I convinced him about the advantage of these new techniques.

Sunita describes how she is working with two other CARE trainees, Gopi Nepali and Rajendra Koiralaare, to build a house for a local man, Jitendra Adhikari. Through this work, her daily income has increased from Rs 800 to Rs 1200 (approx from $8 to $12). This income has not only helped Sunita to meet her family’s needs, but also helped to boost her self-esteem.

She is now a role model and an example that women can work and earn like men.

Sunita’s reputation has spread, meaning her work is much in demand. But not only is this contributing towards tackling discrimination against women, especially with regards to working as a mason and earning income to support a family. It’s also made villagers aware of the need to build houses that are earthquake resilient – and made it possible for them to do it. As one of the villagers put it:

We have to invest a significant budget if we want to engage masons from other places. Thanks to CARE, it’s easy and cheap to build houses with the help of skilled masons from our own village.

CARE's response

Since April 2015, CARE has assisted nearly 200,000 people from nearly 40,000 households. More than 138,000 people benefited from shelter assistance including tarpaulins, blankets, mattresses and solar lamps as well as training on how to rebuild homes. More than 128,000 people benefited from access to clean water. More than 100,000 people benefited from livelihoods support including cash-for-work, cash grants and/or support to start their own businesses and grow their own crops. We also trained birth attendants and provided women and adolescent girls with reproductive health kits; and provided psychosocial and legal support to survivors of gender-based violence.

More than one-quarter of CARE’s earthquake response in Nepal was funded by donations from the UK public and by grants from the UK Department for International Development. Thank you so much for your support.

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See for yourself the difference your support is making to people affected by the 2015 earthquakes: join us to trek through the stunning mountain scenery of Nepal and enjoy a Nepalese welcome from villages assisted by CARE's emergency response. Find out more...

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News and stories are provided by CARE staff working to support our emergency responses and long-term development programmes.