On the Up

Written on February 23, 2016 by Chrissy & Kurt

Good progress is being made in Dadagaun in recent weeks. Please see this site for a lovely video on the process of making the compressed earth blocks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rljUc50vPec
Three of the four block making machines are now being put to use in the village with several households making bricks and allowing them to cure for a month before being used for reconstruction. Approximately 5,000 bricks are needed for a simple building and sums have been done to show the recycled bricks will reduce the costs to purchase bricks by almost two thirds. The villagers have worked out the optimal proportion of earth:cement to use, and as the video shows, are approaching the task in a systematic manner. Some employed labour is being used if villagers can afford it.
Village meeting

An assistant has been hired to attend local meetings, feed back to us, co-ordinate records regarding each house’s building plans and progress, view receipts for building materials, distribute our funds etc. The combined international fundraising effort looks like being able to give each household around USD 1,000. A simple single-storey home is estimated to cost around USD 7,000. Household profiles are still being developed to show level of need for support. If the building plan conforms to the Nepalese government guidelines the homeowners theoretically should be able to access another USD 1,800 in government relief, though there is an element of doubt that this will materialise. The villagers have agreed to help each other out with loans for those who don’t have the means to get started. We will support them with rebuilding costs even if they wish to use materials other than the recycled bricks, as long as plans, budgets and receipts for materials are in order.

All in all, an impressive co-ordinated effort is emerging. This is welcome progress as things were looking a little desperate for a while there. Now with good weather ahead we are anticipating a continuation of this positive progress. If Nepal teaches us anything it is that patience and acceptance are always necessary. Nepalese endurance and tolerance are outstanding. The villagers are learning a great deal too, about planning and organisation, teamwork, responsibility and accountability. Those who have made a start are inspiring those who are more passive. It is a wonderful connection that has been made between individuals across the globe and all donors must be thanked once again for their generosity.

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