Lamjung house photo by Bibek Pandit.jpg

2015 Earthquake

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.

 
 Earthquake statistics were taken from the Nepal Planning Commission report titled  Post Disaster Needs Assessment Volume B

Earthquake statistics were taken from the Nepal Planning Commission report titled Post Disaster Needs Assessment Volume B

 

Why rural housing was vulnerable

Lamjung woman photo by Bibek Pandit.jpg
Kavre house.jpg

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

Kavre shelter.jpg
Kavre inside shelter.jpg

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.