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Skelmersdale charity assists earthquake recovery in Nepal

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‘As I remembered my mother on Mothering Sunday, I also remembered another young mother whom I had met a few days earlier on the outskirts of Kathmandu in Nepal’ reflects Keith Laycock, Chairman of Resolve International. The Nepalese mother lives in an area which had suffered badly in the 2015 earthquakes. The poorest people in the village lived in old houses which were poorly constructed and were completely levelled by the earthquakes. The Nepalese mother told Keith that when the huge earthquake struck two years ago, her son became buried under the rubble which had been their home; it took four hours to rescue him.

‘I had read that people were still living in tents and temporary structures in the mountains, but I was surprised to find so many families still living in temporary homes, including tents, just outside the capital city two years after the disaster.’ A local organisation had provided over fifty of the very poorest families with an earthquake resistant steel shell structure which could be completed by the families with local materials to create a new home.

Two days before visiting this family Keith visited another community where Resolve International had provided a water supply. The Government of Nepal will install water for rural communities of over fifty families, but many rural communities are small clusters of homes, or the houses are spread out over the mountainsides. People can’t live for much more than a week without water, so women and children often spend several hours each day collecting water from a distant source. This community in Dhamja lost its water source when it dried up after the 2015 earthquakes. ‘We had carefully costed this project, but a problem arose as a result of increased material prices like cement, water pipes and fittings. A crash in exchange rates after the Brexit vote added to the problem’ explained Keith Laycock. ‘The villagers decided to increase their own input; each of the twenty five families gave thirty two days free labour to the project.’ A pipeline was buried underground which collects water from a spring which was six kilometres away up the mountainside. The families also helped the technicians to construct a storage tank and six standpipes with taps. Most of the money for the project was donated by the Drinking Fountain Association.

‘This was a rewarding project, because one of the communal taps is situated behind the home where my son Jeremy stayed when he was volunteering there many years ago’ comments Keith. ‘It was like repaying the kindness of that local community. The community had waited until Keith’s visit before using the taps, so that they could have an inaugural ceremonial turning on of the taps. The concept for the charity, Resolve International was conceived in this village and during the past eleven years we have gone on to help almost sixteen thousand people in Nepal.’

A teacher from a primary school about a mile away across the valley joined the inauguration ceremony and explained that thirty children at the school and twenty five local families have no water supply and asked if Resolve International could help. West Lancs residents can visit www.resolveinternational.org and donate to provide life giving water to children in this rural community in the hills of Nepal.

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