BaMBOO SHelTeR PROJeCT

During a trip in Nepal just before the April 2015 earthquake, we came in contact with some wonderful people and initiatives, including a project by the French aid organization Enfance Nepal, that helps Nepali children in extreme need. With the earthquake these needs have become even more acute.

30 June 2015, some really good news :
The Bamboo Shelter Project has   reached its target of 200 shelters   for homeless families in Khokana!

Enfance Nepal is a French volunteer organization that since 2002 supports various projects in Nepal, including the Bamboo Shelter Project that aims to build 200 bamboo shelters for homeless families in Khokana, a village located south of Kathmandu where three quarters of the homes have been destroyed. The organization has a deep link with the village through the orphanage that it runs there.

Why bamboo shelters?

  1. the monsoon season is coming ;
  2. tents currently used as temporary shelter cannot withstand the heavy rains nor the extreme heat;
  3. bamboo shelters are more spacious and more hygienic ;
  4. afterwards they can serve as stables or workshops ;
  5. in return for the shelters, the village has committed itself to rebuild homes as much as possible in line with cultural heritage and seismic standards.

gopal & monicaFor this project the Fondation de France has already financed 100 shelters. Our friend Gopal (photo) coordinates the works on site.

According to Nepali government figures of June 2015, 500.000 homes have been destroyed and another 270.000 damaged. - childfundalliance.org

What are the needs?

At least 200 bamboo shelters for the most affected families.

What are the costs?

400 euros per shelter which should also provide a toilet and a water tank.

What does it take?

Men build the structures and women do the finishing work. The construction of the shelters is a community effort that generates mutual aid and solidarity. Families join together to build a shelter for one of them and then do the same for another family. Some also have decided to regroup several cottages into a larger one.

Bamboo Fact Sheet

  • Availability
  • Sustainability
  • Construction
  • Material
  • Skills

Availability

Bamboo is distributed widely throughout Nepal. They are found in the natural forest in association with other species, but they are also very much planted around villages and on private land.

Sustainability

Bamboo has long been used as a traditional building material, and is achieving increasing popularity due to its potential for environmental sustainability.

Construction

As a construction material, bamboo has similar properties as timber and often uses analogous techniques of structural framing, though the suitability of bamboo for construction is largely dependent on the species.

Material

A light and durable material, bamboo’s dimensions make it ready to use in construction with minimal sawing, splitting or cutting.

Skills

Since bamboo can be quickly and easily cultivated as well as harvested and treated without complicated techniques or tools, it is a good fit in communities where skills training is available.

 

Update July 2015 : where are we at?

  • Khokana, July 2015
  • Khokana, July 2015
  • Khokana, July 2015

Khokana at the outset of the 2015 monsoon.

Quite a number of families are still living in miserable conditions without shelter for the monsoon. The construction of the bamboo cottages for Khokana is in full swing. Enfance Nepal is looking at the possibility of building additional shelters, as well as toilets and the installation of reservoirs of drinking water. Appealing for funds remains a continuous endaevour.

The initial target of 200 bamboo shelters has been met, which is great but still is only a start. An appeal has now come in for 50 more shelters from two surrounding villages, Bungamati and Chhampi, located south of Kathmandu in an area where many homes have been destroyed.

The needs remain high in Khokana with mud and debris to be removed, the village’s streets that lay in ruins and the rains that make everything more difficult.


50 homeless Nepali families need a shelter for the monsoon.
Let’s make a difference.

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