Sindhupalchok lies roughly half a day’s journey to the North-East of Nepal’s capital Kathmandu. The district was amongst the worst-hit regions of Nepal in the April and May 2015 earthquakes – an estimated 90% of all buildings were destroyed, the district also had the highest number of deaths in relation to its population, more than 3,000 people died there.
Reconstruction was slow due to lack of funds and bureaucratic barriers, but also simply because of the difficult climatic and geographic situation (state of roads, monsoon, destroyed footpaths). Three years after the disaster, many people have only just managed to rebuild a proper home; 5-10% of the population – the most vulnerable: the elderly, female-led households, the extremely poor – are still surviving in shelters, and for them, there is no saying whether or when they will return to a solid house.
PHASE Nepal has been working in the district since 2006, delivering health and education projects; since the earthquakes, the organisation has been very active, first in disaster relief, later in reconstruction and rehabilitation projects (water systems, schools, health post buildings etc.). Currently, PHASE Nepal is also running an agriculture programme in the area – animal husbandry and vegetable farming – to allow farmers to improve their harvests and generate additional income.
Since 2006, the situation of the two initial project communities – Hagam and Phulpingkot – has changed a lot: both communities now are connected with a (very) rough road that is feasible with off-road vehicles, and there is a relatively reliable power supply from a local hydropower plant.
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