Habitat for Humanity to start building permanent houses for families affected by Nepal earthquake

MANILA (May 26, 2015) – One month after a devastating magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck Nepal and destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes, Habitat for Humanity will soon start construction of permanent houses.

“We will begin building the first 100 permanent homes in the heavily damaged district of Kavre in the next two weeks,” said Rick Hathaway, Asia-Pacific vice president, Habitat for Humanity. “This is just a first step. In the coming months, subject to securing funding, we aim to rebuild thousands of homes in Nepal.”

Since the disaster struck, Habitat for Humanity has mobilized hundreds of volunteers and staff to remove rubble and earthquake debris left from damaged and destroyed homes in affected communities. Salvage of materials from this process can support future reconstruction efforts.

“Getting families into permanent homes as soon as possible is critical and crucial to Nepal’s recovery,” continued Hathaway. “In conjunction with starting construction of permanent housing, Habitat for Humanity will be distributing temporary shelter kits to affected families. These kits contain materials that can be reused for permanent house construction at a later stage.”

The earthquake and the following magnitude-7.4 earthquake in May damaged or destroyed more than 750,000 homes in Nepal, according the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Thousands of people in Nepal continue to sleep outdoors, fearful that unstable structures may collapse from further aftershocks. These families will be even more vulnerable when the monsoon season arrives in Nepal.

Habitat for Humanity’s temporary shelter kits contain materials such as corrugated galvanized iron roofing, steel tubing, re-enforcing rods, fixings and tools. An estimated 5,000 shelter kits are planned for distribution in the next two months.

Habitat for Humanity has already started distributing water backpacks to displaced families, used to facilitate transport of drinking water from wells and other sources. This effort will continue in the coming weeks.

Planned before the earthquakes struck Nepal, Habitat for Humanity’s Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project will continue as planned in Pokhara, Nepal, November 1-6. For 31 years, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, have given a week of their time to help Habitat for Humanity build homes, advocate and raise awareness of poverty housing issues in countries around the world.

Habitat’s ability to respond effectively to this disaster will require support from donors, corporate partners and other community organizations. Donations can be made at habitat.org/donate/nepal.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that housing provides a path out of poverty, since 1976 Habitat has helped more than 5 million people through home construction, rehabilitation and repairs and by increasing access to improved shelter through products and services. Habitat also advocates to improve access to decent and affordable shelter and offers a variety of housing support services that enable families with limited means to make needed improvements on their homes as their time and resources allow. As a nonprofit Christian housing organization, Habitat works in more than 70 countries and welcomes people of all races, religions and nationalities to partner in its mission. To learn more, donate or volunteer, visit habitat.org.