His eyes are moist as he looks at his new ‘model’ house. Ram Bahadur Ghaley, 77, has bitter memories of the 25 April 2015 earthquake in which he lost many of his relatives as well as his ancestral home. The Barpak village in Gorkha district was the epicenter of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake.
All the homes of the small village were destroyed, with 70 of its residents dying. It has been exactly four years since the devastating earthquake and the villagers of Barpak are still in the process of rebuilding their homes with the help of the Rs. 300,000 in compensation from the government.
Having spent many nights under the open sky, Ghaley has just finished building his new home. Even if he cannot get back the loved ones he lost in the earthquake, says Ghaley, he nonetheless wants to bring some happiness to those who remain.
In the Dharche rural municipality in Barpak, 6,149 families have already rebuilt their homes while 1,033 families are still homeless. Their traditional abodes have been replaced by modern, earthquake resistant houses. One storied, quaint little houses with blue tin roofs are in fact the new signature feature of Barpak. The Barpak residents, who do not want to remember April 25, are forcefully reminded of the catastrophic day by the recurring aftershocks. But Barpak is slowly regaining its vitality, one blue tin roof at a time.
By Sunita Dangol in The Annapurna Express – 26 April 2019