Thirty-year-old Man Kumar Thakuri’s story resonates well with thousands of Nepalese men who left their villages in search of better opportunities abroad and returned after the earthquake to take up reconstruction.
Man Kumar went to Malaysia in 2014 hoping to earn a good income for the family. However, after three months at work, the company he worked in started exploiting him by not providing the promised wages. After the 2015 earthquake damaged his house, Man Kumar decided to return to his village in Kuvinde, Sindhupalchowk.
Man Kumar’s family was displaced by the earthquake and they were forced to live in a temporary shelter made of CGI sheets. While his house was damaged, he was notenlisted in the NRA’s beneficiary list. So, with much efforts his name wasincluded in the grievances list on September 2018. Meanwhile, his wife was pregnant that increased hisconcern on shifting into a new house at the earliest possible.
Man Kumar began laying the foundation of hishouseon December 2018. But the construction got stalled at the sill band leveldue to financial constraints. Although he had received the second tranche after completing the DPC level of his house, most of the amount went into taking care of his pregnant wife, repaying the loans he took for Malaysia and covering the family’s daily expenses. His farms could sustain his family for only about six months, and he had to engage himself as daily wage labor to fulfill his needs. Despite his attempt to take loans from informal mechanisms, due to his previous loan, he was unable to convince the loan providers.
Amidst this financial hardship, Man Kumar learnt about the provision of interest-free loan worth NPR. 50,000 from the Resilience Fund set up with support from European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) and UNDPin the ward. His application was reviewed by the Resilience Fund Committee and approved by the ward office. Furthermore, his house was also selected for the five-day on-site masons’refresher training,which covered labour expenses to some extent and provided him further relief.
The loan and trainingmade it possible forMan Kumar to resume the stalled construction andapply for the third tranche.The supporteventually ensured anew roof for the family before the rainy season. His pregnant wife gave birth to a healthy child just a few days after moving in his new house.
Man Kumar is content and elated that the Resilience Fund support enabled him to complete the construction of his house just on time to move in his newborn child.
About Reconstruction Resilience Fund mechanism:
About the Project:
The ECHO funded project ‘Resilient Reconstruction & Recovery of vulnerable communities severely affected by 2015 earthquake’ aims to strengthen resilience of the vulnerable earthquake affected households and communities to the future disaster risks, through housing reconstruction that are risk-informed, inclusive and participatory. The project is being implemented in 15 wards of 2 rural and 2 urban municipalities in Sindhupalchowk and Dolakha, namely Chautara-Sangachowkgadhi municipality, Indrawati rural municipality, Bhimeswhor municipality and Shailung rural municipality, targeting a total of 11,052 households.
The project is working on the following four thematic areas:
i. The most poor and vulnerable households reconstruct disaster resilient houses.
ii. Earthquake-affected communities are empowered with self-determined resilient recovery plan and risk management for future disasters.
iii. The most poor and vulnerable earthquake-affected households have resilient livelihood opportunities.
iv. Enabling environment created for inclusive, affordable and people-centered reconstruction policies and actions.