6e Newletter Earth Quake Sponsortrek Nepal

To 5th newletter earthquake 

Noordbeemster, June 2016.

Dear Nepalfriends, namasté!

You are hereby informed of the latest developments, in particular on the impact of the earthquake.
The DRC project is fine and all 55 children go to school and the organization is perfect.
The situation around Keronja and Gairamudi not good, to put it mildly, please read on.

It has been quiet around Keronja. We offered the people to rebuild the destroyed health post. But it as a precondition, that the government should also sponsor it.
This way, there would still be money for e.g. rebuilding the school and technical support for the reconstruction of houses.

Keronja attracted a lot of publicity as it was close to the epicenter of the earthquake, and many aid organizations are active in this area, especially the Singapore Red Cross.

The health post will be rebuild by another organization and not by us, as we have too many requirements.

We believe that the government should definitely assist in the rebuilding of the country and if you do not engage the government, everything is left to foreign development
organizations, which surely is not the intention. The Nepal governent is primarily responsible for the development of the country.

Of course it's unfortunate for us that we can not pursue our project there, but for the population it is of course good that the health post is rebuilt and hopefully other facilities are repaired.

The Board of Sponsortrek Nepal feels that we must spend our money as economically as possible and give help where it is absolutely necessary. Keronja currently gets enough help obviously

Keronja End of a project!
Total flat healthpost gone .

In our last newsletter we indicated in our last newsletter that Gairamudi, at the foot of the Rolwaling Himal, has received virtually no assistance.
All the houses, schools and health post are collapsed and have not been rebuilt to date. Initially the population thought that the government would not rebuild the schools,
but we have insisted to sort this out and with success; the school of Gairamudi will be rebuiltand rightly so.

We always insist that the MPs use the public pressure.

The health post is currently housed in a tent and rebuilding of health posts is not see as a priority by the government.

temporary healthpost destroyed 
Construction of health post and housing is top priority

The population has been promised that they will get $ 2,000 for each collapsed house they will rebuild. But the government conditions are strict,
and you cannot build a house the traditional way for that amount.

Here is a task for us and we are at an advanced stage, but still struggle with some questions.

We would prefer an earthquake-proof construction for the health post, and building it with assistance of the population. It should also be as simple as possible.

The population should get technical asistance in rebuilding their homes themselves.

But what to do or "Ke Garne"?

Various options were examined including:

A great earthquake-resistant material, not available because too much bamboo has been harvested at this time for emergency housing and one finds bamboo
a weak product because cows walk through the village and could dammage the houses.

Straw and hemp
traw is unknown and it is difficult to explain that it can be used for buildings. Also one thinks that all the straw is needed for livestock. Moreover,
there are no straw presses and, if not used properly, such as a coating with
steel mesh and a finishing of smearing cement or clay, a fire is indeed dangerous.

Hemp seems to have a bigger chance of being used. There is a company that builds houses and even a hospital with a steel structure with in between pressed hemp.
A disadvantage is that a steel structure is quite expensive. This could also be done with a bamboo frame. Options are currently being explored with this company.

Straw building construction   
Structure with and without a frame for a floor. Below plastered with clay. Source: Ecovillage Brabant

Block Masonry walls
A "re-inforced variant of a traditional building of rough stone and clay.

It seems a good and simple solution, although we still have reservations regarding the life of the system.
All this is now being tested by the foundation Shock Wave Nepal and we shall see if there is vertical stability to be inserted into the walls.
Within a few weeks we will hear their findings and we will see if we carry on.
See the link with description: Gabion_bands

In short, very interesting and we will see what is feasible.

Tension Pack systeem
You know them, the walls of galvanized steel reinforced concrete walls, such as those sold in garden centers. Whole walls are built, interspersed with rubble, called gabions.

Engineer Guus Bertels has invented this in the last century and he built houses in Africa. The system was made as a kit in Holland and put together on site in Africa.
Transportation proved a stumbling block. Onsite manufacturing proved impossible.

The houses are very luxurious according to Nepalese standards and certainly not necessary for the countryside of Nepal.
Simple walls with a single window and a door is enough for a comfortable and secure home.

In Nepal, galvanized steel mesh is readily available. Packed with durable sealing of cement or clay, this could prevent rusting.

We would like to evalute with an expert if this is possible in our project.

Tension Pack House
The house in Sudan, Africa, by Engineer Guus Bertels

How to carry on?
Tendy Sherpa, our man in Nepal, suggested an architect who works for the government and he created a quick plan for us. The drawing was typically Nepalese,
with very small rooms. He clearly had little time to understand the details and this is why Rob Kolber made some changes and added certain requirements.

See also the temporary plan

An architect friend will make a final drawing and tell us, what system we can used best.

Help wanted from technicians and engineers

Are you an architect, construction worker, steel builder etc. and do you want to help us in the realization of the project?

Please contact Rob Kolber soon. All the advice and help are very welcome!

We hope to begin construction after the monsoon. When alternative earthquake resistant methods are not possible, the houses will be traditionally built with stone
and armaments of steel. This construction method for homes is not within the reach for many locals.

Running boardmember
Jean van Berkel, one of our bourdmembers, has run both the London (in 2015, time 3:35:31) and Tokyo (in 2016, time 3:34:31) marathon.
The sponsoring was about € 3,400 in total! A great action again, thank you!

Do you also want to initiate such an action? Let us know!

Climb a mountain and help Nepal!
Next autumn for the benefit of our projects we would like to organize a mountain climb, so if you are thinking of a climb, let us know and we could start a rund raising.
It may not be Everest, there are so many interesting tops, see the website of Iceland trekking.

Everest Expedition organized by Iceland Trekking a success!

Karma on the Summit of Everest  
Karma Sherpa, a brother-in-law of Tendy Sherpa, reached the summit of Mount Everest on May 19 at 7:00 with 6  climbers and 12 Sherpa's!

A great achievement and Iceland Trekking took care of everything to the last detail!

The ascent from Nepal followed the classical route, which was restored after the earth quake of 2015. Shame about the many dead climbers again this year,
the weather was not good this year. Karma also has frostbite on the toes, but is fine.

Trekking in Nepal after the 2015 earthquake
Daily life in Nepal is going ahead, houses are slowly rebuild and the tourists are starting to come back. The beautiful mountains are still their,
as well as the friendly mountain people. One of our trekking groups made a trip last year shortly after the quake and were still able to do a beautiful trek.

Nepal is waiting for trekking tourists and is ready for it, they need the tourists!

Iceland Trekking is looking for participants for several trips, we can recommend this organization wholeheartedly!
For this autumn several trekking groups are still looking for expanding their group!

We soon hope to give you news regarding the construction of the health post of Gairamudi.

With kind regards, on behalf of the Board of Sponsortrek,
Rob Kölber.