Landslide in Lamjung, Nepal: A Call for Support

Milipa Thapa
Posted September 7, 2020 from Nepal

If you wish to help, here is the link you can donate to support landslide victims in my village lamjung.

What’s happening in Nepal?

  Imagine waking up to a roaring noise and you realize the roof above you is hurling down mercilessly. Within moments, your house collapses into a pile of rubble. If the stars are in your favor, you find yourself still alive. Your heart drops as you look around, hoping your family members are still breathing under the ruins.  This is the story of 21 families in Nepal, who saw their houses buried under the devastating landslide on 22nd July 2020 in Lamjung district. A massive landslide caused by continuous heavy rainfall collapsed upon a village located at the foot of a hill. The remaining 59 houses of the devastated Tarapu village are also uninhabitable as they are on the edge of being washed away by the landslide debris. The entire settlement of the village in the Lamjung district is at high risk of displacement due to the heavy rains and potential landslides in the future. The residents of that area are now living in temporary tents, in school buildings and some in their relatives' houses.  With the COVID-19 pandemic already creating the loss of income sources in the community, the landslide has further exacerbated the plight by taking away their houses, livestock, and almost all the belongings. 

Why are we worried about Lamjung? 

Let us show you the bigger picture.  Nepal is a culturally rich country, but cultural and religious superstitions are engrained deep into our belief system and daily practices. Our societies are divided by caste and class. The superstition of belonging to the “superior” caste overtakes many of the rational decisions in a community. Lamjung district is an example of one such place, where segregation of caste still exists to a much deeper level. The Dalit community, who are referred to as “untouchables” by the upper castes are the ones who have lost their houses, loved ones, and their hard-earned life savings during the Lamjung landslide. This village is inhabited by a majority of Dalit families and not to mention, their financial conditions were already in a brink before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, they still had a roof over their head and livestock to earn extra cash before the calamities struck.  Since then, the 21 Dalit families who lost their houses and livestock have been living in fear every single day. Due to the failure of the government in handling the COVID-19 pandemic, these families fear that there will be no emergency relief and housing settlements for the landslide victims. Along with societal discrimination and segregation, the Dalits are worried that they might have to live as homeless individuals in their own place with no source of income and home of their own. 

What is this campaign for?

For the long term reintegration of Dalit families, this campaign aims at reconstructing their houses through earthquake resistant technique which is affordable and reliable. The primary aim of this campaign is to collect a considerable amount of funds to build 21 houses for those Dalit families whose houses were completely destroyed by the landslide. 

Why should you contribute?

We request our audience to help the Dalit communities with whatever amount you can.  This campaign not only targets to reconstruct houses for Dalit families but also works together in fighting against casteism which is a traditional system of social stratification in Nepal. Though caste-based discrimination is now illegal, the caste structure remains deeply ingrained in many rural parts of Nepal. Through your small help, we will be able to support the Dalit community living in Lamjung, by uplifting their living conditions through rehabilitation and economic empowerment. In the long run, we are committed to making society aware of cast segregation through various social campaigns and creating an environment where every person has the social, economic, and political power to thrive.  Our intention to build houses for 21 affected Dalit families is primarily to help them with shelter facilities. We are committed to helping rehabilitate the families with dignity whose lives have been belittled with years of government negligence, societal discrimination, and generational segregation and now completely shattered by the recent landslide. With your generous contribution, the Dalit families will have a roof above their heads. They will not have to remain at the mercy of the so-called ‘upper’ castes to restart their lives after the monsoon ends and once the COVID-19 lockdown is lifted.  

Where will the fund go?

We will be building safe and low-cost disaster-resistant houses that are affordable and durable for families in the Tarapu village. The cost of building a house is $10,000 approx.  We have given first priority to build 21 houses which will cost $210,000 approx. including all the construction materials and labour costs. Since the cost for 21 houses is high, our team is planning to request the Division Forest Office, Lamjung for wood that will be required to build the houses.  In return, if the office supports our campaign, we are planning to focus on replanting 25 new trees for every 1 tree used during the construction. 

How will we ensure credibility?

We ensure credibility by providing all the necessary documents that are needed for the construction of the houses.  Once the construction materials are bought and houses are built, we will submit the details of all the expenses to all our national and international donors.

For Your Information

This crowdfunding is initiated by a group of Nepalese alumni from the Asian University for Women (AUW).  The same AUW Nepalese community had raised about $10000 from the crowdfunding campaign to help the victims of the Himalayan Earthquake 2015 in Nepal. Our goal with this campaign now is to help the “Shree Devya Joyti Youth Club” to build houses for the landslide victims in Lamjung district. The Shree Devya Joyti Youth Club mobilizes the local youths in the area to participate in development work, to eradicate illiteracy, to raise the living standards of the people, to raise environmental awareness and to involve the youth in public service when needed. Milipa Thapa from Lamjung district is an alumni coordinator who is currently liaising between the Shree Devya Joyti Youth Club and the donors.  She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from AUW in 2017 and has been working as a socio-economic officer in the Rural Access Programme 3, a UK-aid funded project for the past 4 years. In addition, since 2019, she has also been working part-time as a Community Mobilization Specialist for one of the World Bank funded projects in South Asia.   The Nepalese alumni have come together because our mission is to build local power and support communities that are struggling to survive because of poverty, racial prejudice, and gender discrimination. Our intention is to connect people all over the world who have a shared desire for justice, equality, and inclusivity.   

Bank Details

Nepal Credit & Commerce Bank Ltd. 

Besisahar, Lamjung, Nepal

Account No.: 1370000015001

Account Holder: Shree Devya Joyti Youth Club, Pamchok 

Swift Code: NBOCNPKA

Details of Youth members from Shree Devya Joyti Youth Club

Kumar Bhandari: President

Bikash Bhandari: Advisory Coordinator

Surya Bhandari: Advisory member

Saroj Bhandari: Legal Advisor

Santosh Thapa: Treasurer

Pashuram Thapa: Former President  

Share the bitter pain of Lamjung, Nepal with the world and open your helping hand for aid through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Blogs, etc. You can also share this via GoFundMe share tools. With Sincere Gratitude, AUW Alumni and Shree Devya Joyti Youth Club Members

Comments 7

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Tamarack Verrall
Sep 08
Sep 08

Dear Milipa,
What a horrible act of Nature, even more so as such racism toward the Dalit people still goes on. It reminds me of our Government's lack of action in response to emergencies in Indigenous communities here. Such important work that the Nepalese alumni from the Asian University for Women (AUW) have taken on. Such brave commitment by the Shree Devya Joyti Youth Club. I will post this on social media and hope that many get behind your call for action.

Milipa Thapa
Sep 08
Sep 08

Dear Tamarack,
Namaste! Thank you so much for your kind words. Thank you for sharing this on your social media and helping us to reach out in wider groups. Joining world pulse and connecting with people like you always make me happy and inspired me a lot to move ahead.
Stay safe! Stay happy!

Nini Mappo
Sep 08
Sep 08

Oh dear Milipa,
That photo of someone's former home sinking into the mud slide gives one the shivers.
What a devastation to come upon already disadvantaged families :/

I'm the girl whose mud house would fall down every rainy season, so I feel the plight of this community and their need for shelter.

I'm glad that you are teaming with others to help them rebuild and also bridge the inequality gap in Nepal. That is compassionate and commendable, especially because the task and the amount of money you need to raise did not deter you. Good on you.

I hope that you find the funds swiftly so that these families can get back on safe solid ground.

It is a very well written fund-raiser appeal, by the way.

Milipa Thapa
Sep 08
Sep 08

Dear Nini,
Namaste! Thank you for your comment. Your comment too is very well written. I read it more than twice. :) Yes, I can feel how thoughtful you are and it is true that we go through this natural calamity every year. You, I and we know the plight of living in these developing nations where catastrophe hits the poorest hard. I hope better days will come. :)
Stay Safe! Stay Happy!
Keep inspiring. :)

Hello, Milipa,

Welcome back to World Pulse! This is such tragic news, dear sister. Landslides are a common occurrence in our country, too. I understand the horror of this disaster. Oh, dear, I hope you will have access to needed funds. I hope international funding agencies would donate.

Milipa Thapa
Sep 08
Sep 08

Dear Karen,
Namaste! Thank you for your comment. Yes, landslides are a common occurrence in various parts of the world and it depends on how nations overcome such disasters. Currently, Nepal is not doing well in any of these and COVID-19 has worsened the situation very badly. I hope we shall overcome this hard time.
Stay Safe! Stay Happy! :)

Namaste, dear sister. You're welcome. I can imagine based on your post. :( Yes, you will overcome, dear. Our country as someone coined is a "laboratory of disasters" but we overcome every single tragedy. I know Nepal will, too. You are resilient! Stay safe and happy, too. :)