Mid-day on April 25th, 2015, along the fault line that runs between the Indian and Asian plates triggered a 7.8 magnitude earthquakes, leaving severe damage throughout rural districts of central Nepal. Loss of life and injuries were significantly reduced due to the timing of the earthquake on a Saturday, mid-day, while most villagers were outdoors.
As of 2018, just a small number of villages have been rebuilt, mainly from the efforts of small independent organizations.
Why rural housing was vulnerable
The traditional housing in the earthquake-struck villages across central Nepal was made of rocks with mud mortar.
Besides the unsound nature of the materials, the buildings suffered widespread damage because of:
- No interlocking corners
- Lack of buffers or reinforcement around the weak points such as windows and doors
- Weight of the roof sitting directly on the stone walls
- Insufficient or non-existent foundations
Temporary housing post-earthquake
Across the most affected districts of Nepal, families have constructed temporary shelters using remnants of their old houses and other materials such as tin sheets.
Nearly 3 years after the earthquake, they are still uncertain whether they will be able to rebuild or if they will be relegated to this sub-par situation.
Living in this situation raises concerns about security, affects health, and doesn't give children a suitable place to rest and study.
Residents living in these structures also express their frustration with the amount of time spent fixing leaks or trying to keep warm in winter.