CNA Director Departs for Nepal
Colorado Nepal Alliance (CNA) Executive Director Anne Hines is on her way from Colorado to Nepal to oversee CNA’s earthquake rebuilding in Darkha and attend a summit on rebuilding techniques. She says she is prepared to remain there for most of the fall: “I used my frequent flier miles for a one way ticket. Right now, it’s difficult to know how quickly we’ll be able to move forward on projects.”
With the monsoon rains now subsiding, the villages that CNA partners with are looking to start rebuilding in earnest, more than four months after the devastating earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, 2015. “I’m nervous about what I’m going to witness,” says Hines. “Pictures have shown devastation in the remote villages. I’m particularly worried about the welfare of the elderly and female-headed households. It’s difficult enough in the best of times to plant, tend, and harvest crops, care for livestock, and take care of daily needs. Add to that destruction of your home and livestock shelters; that’s an overwhelming set of circumstances.”
Anne’s first task is to attend an Earthbag Rebuilding Summit on Sept. 4th. Earthbag construction, a technique with a long history of military, agricultural, and flood abatement applications, uses special techniques to secure bags filled with appropriate local materials like dirt and gravel to construct a durable foundation, with subsequent layering and reinforcement resulting in sturdy walls. Earthbag-built structures in place prior to the April earthquakes in Nepal held up well to the magnitude 7.8 earthquake and aftershocks. CNA’s Board of Directors and their partners on the ground in Nepal believe that the technique could be a good fit for rebuilding community buildings in Darkha, where CNA has been active for the past two years.
Rebuilding as been on hold throughout most of Nepal, due to the yearly monsoons, which started in mid-June, and should end in mid-September. Each year the road to Darkha is covered by landslides, and must be excavated. Villagers hope that the roads connecting Darkha with rebuilding supplies will be passable by trucks sometime in early October. Until that happens, all travel is by foot, and all goods and materials must be carried to the villages.
The Colorado Nepal Alliance is an all-volunteer organization, working hard with our partners in rural Nepal to rebuild villages devastated by the April 2015 earthquakes. Your donations are our single largest source of funding for the supplies that are being used to rebuild Darkha, Nepal. Please consider donating to support our efforts. We are a 501( c)(3) organization so your gifts may be tax deductible.