When a landslide swept away Nyangmo Lamini’s home in the small settlement of Ramche in Rasuwa district, she and her family moved to Karmi Danda to try to restart her life.
Soon afterwards, tragedy struck again as Nyangmo lost her husband to heart disease. Determined to provide for her children, she poured her efforts into finishing the second house she had started with her late husband, only to see it destroyed during the April 2015 earthquake.
For Nyangmo, now a single mother of five children, recovering from this third tragedy was nearly impossible. With young children to care for and all her financial resources exhausted, rebuilding did not seem to be an option. Her family did not have strong adult members for the hard physical labor of collecting and preparing rock to make stone masonry buildings like some of her neighbours, and she also did not have any money to buy bricks and cement to build a brick structure.
For over two years after the earthquake, Nyangmo and her children lived in a temporary tin and bamboo shelter, vulnerable to the cold and the rain.
When a new Compressed Stabilized Earth Block (CSEB) factory opened in Karmi Danda village, Nyangmo felt her hopes rise. CSEBs are cheaper than fired bricks, and require less mortar and labor for construction.
When Nyangmo talked to staff from the UKAID-funded project setting up the factory and explained why she was interested in using this technology to try to rebuild, she was offered a chance to have her home be a CSEB “model house”. The project supported the labor costs for building, and now Nyangmo’s home serves as an example for other people to come and visit if they are considering building with CSEBs.
Sitting on the porch of her new home, Nyangmo reflects on helplessness she felt just a few months ago when she thought about rebuilding, and the newfound security that comes with having solid walls and a roof over her children every night.