Maiya could still recall her narrow escape from death when a massive earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, 2015. She had just finished feeding her paralytic husband and about to have her lunch when she felt the earth shake in Panchkhal municipality, Kavre district where she lived. Without thinking, she quickly pushed the wheelchair with her husband in it out of their two-story mud hut. She could only watch as her family home turned into a pile of rubble.
The exertion then and the subsequent hardship left Maiya, 57, with severe back pain.
Shortly after the earthquake, in May 2015, Maiya was able to build a temporary shelter using materials from the kits distributed by Habitat for Humanity Nepal. The shelter provided refuge for Maiya, her husband, 64, and her 17-year-old grandson whom she has been taking care of after her daughter died of cancer more than a decade ago. As the weather changes, living conditions are not ideal for her family of three. In summer, it is too hot to stay inside the shelter with her husband particularly feeling the heat. In winter, it can get chilly.
Habitat Nepal works with local partners to train individuals, families and entire communities in the PASSA, designed to help them to identify hazards and mitigating measures. While her family receives 1,500 Nepali rupees (about US$ 14) as a quarterly disability allowance from the local government, the money is not enough for their expenses. If Maiya can get work as a farm hand, she can take home about 250-350 Nepal rupees a day. There are times when she had to borrow money to pay for her husband’s medical expenses and her grandson’s school fees. The thought of building a permanent house had never crossed Maiya’s mind until she came into contact with Habitat Nepal. She began receiving technical assistance through Habitat Nepal’s Housing Support Service Center in Panchkhal. Habitat Nepal also helped her with preparing documents for the local government’s approval of house construction and with her application for a government grant. Maya was involved in the laying of the foundation of her new house and making of the Compressed Stabilized Earth Blocks.