On April 25th 2015 Nepal was struck by a massive earthquake, deeply affecting the country and its people. There were a series of earthquakes over several days; the most devastating of which reached 7.8 on the Richter scale. As well as numerous small tremors, a further large earthquake of 7.3 magnitude hit on May 12th These earthquakes caused serious damage to many parts of the capital, Kathmandu, however the worst of the damage was seen in the rural villages in 14 districts surrounding the city. Over 9000 people were killed, and nearly a million homes destroyed. Infrastructure, farms and businesses were destroyed and years of small growth and development wiped out.
Members of HPC joined with others to discuss strategies and action plans for implementation of Post-earthquake recovery that supports low-cost, earthquake-compliant homes while simultaneously addressing other key drivers of poverty and environmental vulnerability in communities. While the immediate need for shelter is paramount, we see this as an opportunity to engage with the target communities to address other critical issues including denuded landscapes, food insecurity and malnutrition, water borne diseases and sanitation, access to energy for cooking, lighting and power, and diversified livelihoods opportunities.
From this discussion, an alliiance of organisations, professionals and volunteers combined to bring about the the "Building Resilience Through Revcovery" (RTR) program, an integrated approach to helping different communities in Nepal sustainably recover from the recent earthquakes, allowing them to be even more resilient and prepared to deal with future disasters. RTR ran from Jan 2016 to Dec 2018, and was co-funded by Lush Cosmetics and the Kamala Foundation.
HPC pro-actively supported RTR by providing barefoot consultants to work with villagers of earthquake-affected villages in resilience building. HPC also provided 30kg of vegetable seeds to affected villages.
One of HPC's partners, Sunrise Farm, was damaged in the earthquake and needed to be re-built. In the spirit of the RTR the opportunity was harvested to make the farm better than before, and a crowdfunding appeal was successful in enabling this.