Yarsha village finally rises from rubbles

Published On: June 3, 2018 03:00 AM NPT By: Ramesh Khatiwada

DOLAKHA, June 3: Of the settlements that were destroyed by the devastating earthquake three years ago, some are yet to reconstructed. Owing to the lethargic reconstruction process, some of the earthquake victims are still living in huts, both in towns and villages. Yet, some have successfully risen from the rubbles and Yarsha village of Dolakha is one of those now. The village has not only regained its lost glory and charm but looks even vibrant than before earthquake.

"When the reconstruction project had started, we had simply not imaged that it would look so grand at the end. But you see, it has become miraculous. We have created far better settlement than before," said a civil society leader in the village Tenjing Sherpa. "You can see people beaming with happiness and with the apparent success," he added.

Our earlier settlement was built haphazardly. Earthquake destroyed it. We lived in huts for long but now we have a brand new settlement that is fully organized. - Tenjing Sherpa, a village resident

Whether one gazes closely or from distance, the houses look quite attractive. Roof of green corrugated sheets, red brick walls, same types of windows and doors have brought uniformity to the houses in the settlement. All the houses in the settlement have similar designs. A wide street passes through the settlement with houses on both of its side. Every house has considerable size of open space in the front. The patio already boasts of greenery.

"Our earlier settlement was built haphazardly. Earthquake destroyed it. We lived in huts for long but now we have a brand new settlement that is fully organized," Sherpa compared.

The interior of the houses is equally exciting the quake survivors. They are designed specially to give a feel of classy apartments. Each of the houses comes with attached bathroom, modern kitchen and a spacious living room.

"Unlike in several other areas where house for quake victims have been made, ours is spacious even inside. We have taken care of long term comfort, house is a long term project after all," Sherpa asserted. Yarsha village is around four kilometers away from Mainapokhari Bazar of Dolakha -- Lamoshaghu - Giri road.

The village situated in ward three of Baityashwor Rural Municipality, is home to Sherpas , Chhetri, Brahmin, Tamang and Newar community members. The earthquake had fully destroyed 113 houses of the settlement. "Not only were our houses but even the land was severely cracked by the earthquake. With the help of many organizations, we got back on our feet," Sherpa said.

Locals credit several organizations for the successful reconstruction in the village and they credit Young Living Foundation for bringing all the donors together. "Many people have helped in reconstructing this village. Japanese have helped. Americans have helped. But the pool to connect those generous people and us are Nepali again, they are journalists," said Sherpa.

Representatives of NGOs, INGOs were in the village right after the earthquake. Many were engaged in rescue and relief distribution. Meanwhile, journalist of Dolakha Laxman Khadka got connected to Binod Tamang who was living in Japan. Just like many other individuals who wanted to contribute to relief and recovery at that time, the duo also tried to find donors. This brought them in contact with Young Living Foundation based in USA.

"The representatives of the foundation came to Nepal. They could see the devastation for themselves. They extended willingness to help," Sherpa reported.

Officials from the foundation visited the visited in the aftermath of the earthquake and took initiatives for aiding in reconstructing the village, Sherpa informed.

"They saw us living pathetically in the sheds or huts. They distributed blankets, clothes, food among other relief materials," Sherpa reminisced. "We knew, through their gestures that we were going to be supported by them. Now, it has become a reality," Sherpa said.

According to Sherpa, Yarsha village always remained weak economically. People do not have good jobs, occupations. They basically depend on farming but that does not pay off well.

"So, it was not possible for us to get our life back on track and have these wonderful houses to live in so soon. It would have taken long or would never happen," he noted. "But due to generous people, their support, we own them now," he added.

The reconstruction project started two years ago. To make it effective, officials from the foundation stayed in tents at the village. The team even brought machineries from abroad to aid in the reconstruction process. Sherpa informed.

"Bricks were made from the local mud. Other materials were brought from around. Some machines were even imported from outside the country for reconstructing our homes," Sherpa said.

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