Ratna Bahadur Danuwar, 88, was shaken by the sight of his mud house crumbling before his eyes when the earthquake hit in April 2015. His wife, Bhagwati Danuwar, felt equally helpless. “I could not do anything.” The couple lives in Kavrepalanchok district with their son and daughter-in-law. After the earthquake, the Danuwars set up a makeshift tent using tarpaulin and depended on food distributed by relief organizations.
They had to bear with bad weather conditions and more aftershocks for two months as they lived in the tent. In June, the family received a temporary shelter kit from Habitat Nepal during one of its distributions in the district. The family built a shelter using the CGI sheets, rebar with steel tubes and 24-gauge wire from the kit together with some materials that they salvaged from their old house. Ratna Bahadur’s son, Bhim Bahadur Danuwar, shared: “Life in a temporary shelter was hard. At times, my parents got annoyed because it was either too hot or too cold, or because the rain that hit our tin roof sounded like thunder.”
The turning point came when the Danuwars worked with Habitat Nepal to build a permanent house that was completed in April 2016. The single-storey brick and cement house has two rooms, a kitchen, a veranda and a toilet.