HFH Nepal Completes Two Test Builds Ahead Of October’s “Everest Build”
Volunteer Team From USA And HFH Nepal’s Staff Each Finish Constructing Model Bamboo-Based House
KATHMANDU, 20th May 2010: Habitat for Humanity Nepal has completed two test builds ahead of October’s week-long Everest Build in Pokhara, a popular tourist destination about 200 km. west of the capital Kathmandu.
In mid-April, a Global Village team of 12 volunteers from the U.S. arrived in Pokhara to work on the second test build house. They worked alongside Habitat home partner Toya Nath Lamichane to build a pre-fabricated bamboo house.
While the bamboo technology used by HFH Nepal was novel, the American team helped to speed things up with some power tools which they brought along. Within a week, the volunteers were able to complete the house and plastered the external walls to the home partner’s satisfaction.
Earlier, 17 staff members from HFH Nepal volunteered for the first test build in March. They worked for six days to build a model bamboo-based house with home partner Chandra Maya Tamang.
The HFH Nepal staff dug the ground, made bamboo frames for assembly on-site, mixed concrete and poured it for the foundation and floor, carried tin sheets and bamboo to the site and weaved bamboo splits for the walls.
During the Everest Build from 1st to 8th October, Habitat volunteers and home partners will be building at least 30 homes in Lakuri village, Lekhnath municipality, Pokhara. HFH Nepal will be constructing two-room houses, each nearly 19 sq. m. (200 sq. ft.) in area with a small kitchen.
International volunteers from the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are expected to join their local counterparts in the special build.
Most of the families in Lakuri live in one-room houses with at least five people under one roof. Many are daily wage laborers and the practice is to marry off their children once they turn 16 years old.
Dalli (Bibha) Sunar is one such villager. The coal seller’s family of eight lives in a 8.4 sq. m. (90 sq. ft.) house. The one-room house is shared with her husband, two single daughters, a married daughter, a married son and his wife and young child.
As the house also serves as kitchen, bedroom and grain storage area, space is very tight. “We all cannot sleep comfortably because there is not even space to straighten our legs.
“There are days when I want to share something with my husband or talk to him about my feelings. As we both have to work, this is only possible in the evening but we don’t even get this private moment together since all of us are in the same room.”
Last year, Sunar started to construct an additional room outside her house for her son and his family but “due to a lack of money, we had to abandon the work halfway”.