The devastating 2015 earthquake in Nepal killed thousands and leveled tens of thousands of homes
Rebuilding efforts include one small agency's focus on one small village
Two years after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake rocked Nepal, killing nearly 9,000 people and causing extensive damages to property, residents are still reeling from the tragedy — especially in remote villages, where aid has been slow to arrive.
Many villages have turned to international nongovernmental organizations for help. Though it’s not always possible for these NGOs to meet all the communities’ needs, they do bring hope and some relief to beleaguered residents.
One such organization is Conscious Impact, a small nonprofit working to rebuild Takure, a low-income, farming village in the Sindhupalchowk District, about 30 miles northeast of Kathmandu.
The April 25, 2015, earthquake and its subsequent aftershocks decimated all but one of Takure’s 245 structures, according to residents. Homes, buildings and schools laid waste in piles of rubble as families worked to assess the damage.
While there’s no official death toll for Takure, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) lists Sindhupalchowk as one of the “worst-affected districts” in all of Nepal. Official figures say 3,570 people died and more than 90,000 homes were destroyed in Sindhupalchowk alone.
Sunita Tamang, a widowed mother living in Takure, described the quake’s tragic aftermath: “Everywhere I went – in and around my village – I saw people who lost their loved ones.”
Tamang’s husband died two months before the earthquake. “My husband was the only person I had to take care of me,” she says, “but now, looking at my three children, I am living my life to take care of them.”
Chitra Kumari, the president of a women’s cooperative in Nawalpur, another village in Sindhupalchok District near Takure, said those fortunate enough to escape death found themselves immersed in “personal loss, economic loss, and social chaos.”
She says all the training Nepali people received in earthquake preparedness, “like to crawl under beds and tables, could not have helped people survive.”
Since the quake, many of Takure’s men have left to find work in bigger cities like Kathmandu. For those who stayed, corrugated makeshift shelters made from salvaged materials have become their new homes.