19 August 2015
The catastrophic earthquakes earlier this year left a trail of destruction for the people of Nepal with many communities left devastated, homeless and without basic supplies. But three months on, the spirit of the Nepalese people remains resilient as we discovered first-hand following a recent WYG visit.
WYG colleagues, Glyn Utting, Principal Project Manager and Simon Eden, Senior Geo-Environmental Consultant, have recently returned from Nepal, where they spent two weeks visiting rural communities alongside representatives from Community Action Nepal (CAN) and Article 25. Together they assisted with damage assessments, both structural and geological, to CAN’s portfolio of projects that have been affected by the earthquakes.
CAN is a UK based charity whose aim is to help the mountain people of Nepal. They work in partnership with rural villages and communities to provide local health care, education, income generation, cultural and mountain porter welfare facilities.
Glyn Utting said: ‘We are honoured to be supporting CAN, working directly with the people with the hope of making a difference to help those who have been left devastated by this natural disaster. We are able to use our skills and expertise to plan for future projects that will help rebuild damaged and destroyed schools and health posts in the most rural affected communities of Nepal.’
During their visit, Glyn and Simon were completely overwhelmed by the attitudes shown by the locals who, even though have lost entire villages, were going about their daily chores. Some have even attempted to fix their own homes and schools using natural materials with the hope they will withstand the current monsoon season.
CAN predominantly sponsor and fund schools, health posts and porter shelters across rural Nepal and as a result of the recent WYG visit, three key project opportunities have been identified:
Robin Cross, Managing Director of Article 25, said: ‘The devastating impact of the earthquakes in Nepal is a sad reminder of the crucial importance of safe and resilient buildings. When the buildings fail, the social and economic life they support also fail. We can’t prevent earthquakes, but we can mitigate their impact. Well-constructed buildings can make the difference between many thousands of deaths and zero deaths.’
Over the coming weeks WYG will be working with CAN and Article 25 to scope out the design phase and construction programme following the monsoon season.
For more information about Community Action Nepal, visit www.canepal.org.uk