Visions of Nepal: One Year After the Quake

 
 

One year after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, followed by an aftershock measuring 7.3, hundreds of thousands of Nepalese people continue to struggle. The devastating quakes killed at least 9,000 people, injured more than 22,300, destroyed 542,864 houses, and damaged 308,787 dwellings.

Still, the people of Nepal recall the quake that struck on April 25 with a quiet assurance that surely the worst is over. This confidence is visible in their efforts to finally rebuild their homes and lives. The effort is coming none to soon: While the international community pledged more than $4 billion to the recovery, Nepal’s government is only now ready to begin its formal rebuilding program.

Visions of Nepal: One Year After the Quake
Most of the buildings damaged or destroyed in the two earthquakes remain in ruins, such as this structure in Bhaktapur, an ancient Newar city in the east corner of the Kathmandu valley. But ruins no longer affect the people of Nepal, who have seemingly accepted them as part of their lives.
Image Credit: Vishal Arora
Visions of Nepal: One Year After the Quake
Thousands of houses survived the two earthquakes with their walls cracked, such as this house in Kathmandu. The majority of such buildings have not been abandoned by their residents, who have little choice but to continue to live there.
Image Credit: Vishal Arora
Visions of Nepal: One Year After the Quake
Those who lost their homes in the earthquakes have received only about 25,000 Nepalese rupees, or $250, from the government to buy warm clothes and other essentials. Having waited long enough for financial help, and choosing to believe that another big earthquake won't happen any time soon, many have started building their houses, with their own hands.
Image Credit: Vishal Arora
Visions of Nepal: One Year After the Quake
One year after the April 25, 2015 earthquake and millions remain homeless, according to the Red Cross. Many of them are elderly with no family left, such as this woman who has been living in a camp at the Durbar Square in Bhaktapur in Kathmandu valley.
Image Credit: Vishal Arora
Visions of Nepal: One Year After the Quake
Living out of a tent means a life without any assets, except clothes and a mattress. Hundreds of thousands, like this man, remain in this predicament.
Image Credit: Vishal Arora
Visions of Nepal: One Year After the Quake
Hundreds of school buildings were destroyed in the two earthquakes, and classes are now being held in temporary structures made of plastic and metal sheets. The only complaint that students make, jokingly, is why has the syllabus not been reduced.
Image Credit: Vishal Arora
Visions of Nepal: One Year After the Quake
Three young girls stand next to their home, the walls of which have cracked.
Image Credit: Vishal Arora
Visions of Nepal: One Year After the Quake
Several World Heritage sites in the Kathmandu valley were damaged in the two earthquakes. According to media, authorities are giving contracts for the repair of such sites to the lowest bidder, overlooking the expertise required for the job.
Image Credit: Vishal Arora
Visions of Nepal: One Year After the Quake
Many areas at World Heritage sites, including the Kathmandu Durbar Square, have signs warning that it is unsafe to go near them. But local people are so used to sitting on the walls and pavements of these structures that they refuse to stay away.
Image Credit: Vishal Arora
Visions of Nepal: One Year After the Quake
The people of Nepal have shown a great deal of resilience after the tragedies. One reason could be the traditional architecture, which includes sitting platforms around houses, where neighbors can sit and talk to each other.
Image Credit: Vishal Arora
Visions of Nepal: One Year After the Quake
While suffering is visible across the country, more evident is the spirit of Nepal. The Nepalese people have witnessed decades of political instability and frequent natural calamities, but they are justly admired for their ability to pick up the pieces and carry on.
Image Credit: Vishal Arora
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