Tembathang (Sindhupalchowk), March 10
Thirty-eight uniform houses roofed with green corrugated metal sheets stand neatly on the slightly sloped and terraced northwest face of a mountain. Two are still under construction. Four beneficiaries from the settlement have filed grievance appeals. The main front windows of each house look the same - with traditional carvings.
This is Tembathang Integrated Settlement located in Helambu Rural Municipality-1. It reflects Hyolmo culture. The construction of the settlement shining with green corrugated metal sheets is in the final stage. The construction would have been completed by now if it had not been obstructed by the snowfall and rain earlier this month.
Each house has uniform ‘Namba Kosung’, a traditional window carved in Hyolmo culture. The Hyolmo community believes installation of such carved windows prevents evils from entering the house. Beneficiaries have made such windows at the cost of Rs. 70,000 each due to such belief.
The integrated settlement, covering an area of 42 Ropanis (8.25 acres), is being constructed in collaboration between Oxfam, Helambu Rural Municipality and the local community. Janaheet Rural Development Committee is leading the construction. Local residents have also contributed voluntary labor of 150 days.
The construction has started a year ago on February 08, 2018.
Each house in the settlement covers an area of 8 aana (250 sq. meters). The houses have been designed to allow expansion later. Each house has a toilet and a tap for drinking water. A 20,000-liter reservoir has already been constructed for drinking water. A community building for social and cultural works is also being constructed.
According to Rajendra Sharma, executive director of Janaheet Rural Development Committee, which has been leading the settlement construction, almost Rs. 700,000 has been spent for the construction of each house.
The beneficiaries here will not get grant from the NRA as they have been supported by an INGO. However, they will get financial grant for the development of physical infrastructure as per the Integrated Settlement Development Guideline, which will be spent through the rural municipality.
According to Sharma, there is a target of completing the construction and inaugurating it within a month.
Chairperson of the integrated settlement and one of the beneficiaries of this settlement Sangye Lama expressed happiness as their dream of about two years is being realized. He explained how hard it was to convince local earthquake survivors in the village to agree for the plan of integrated settlement. “I would convince the locals for the integrated settlement, but some evil minded people would spoil them,” he shared. “I explained them the benefits of living in an integrated settlement. At last the locals agreed.”
The locals themselves produced bricks used for the construction in Tembathang. Fifteen people have taken training from an organization named ‘Build Up’ to make inter-lock bricks. The organization has provided two brick-making machines as well.
The locals have already taken an initiative to establish a school and a health post at the integrated settlement. At present, locals are forced to go to Timbu, at a distance of three hours walk, as there is no school and health post around Tembathang.
The local beneficiaries in the integrated settlement plan to run home-stays in the village to support their livelihood.