Rotary club raise £8,000 to help rebuild homes in Nepal
PUBLISHED: 10:00 22 April 2017
A North Somerset rotary club has raised thousands of pounds to rebuild homes for people currently living in shelters ‘barely fit for cattle’ after their homes were destroyed by an earthquake.
Wrington Vale Rotary Club has bought an earth brick-making machine, which will help a charity build hundreds of homes for people in Nepal.
The club raised more than £8,000 for its Rebuild Nepal project, which is aiming to provide sustainable, earthquake-proof houses to the people of Rabi Opi, a small village 30 miles outside of the capital Kathmandu.
The rotarians teamed up with Shiva Charity, an action group which aims to rebuild the country following the devastating 7.8-magnitude quake in 2015, and BuildUpNepal, a not-for-profit company which supplied the machine.
Rotary president Garry Carr travelled to Rabi Opi and was ‘shocked’ by the lingering devastation in Nepal, despite it being two years since the earthquake.
He said: “Bob Uppington, the founder of Shiva Charity, showed me the temporary structures they had made; some people are living in a place we would keep cattle in.”
But, he said it was ‘a fantastic feeling’ to see the club’s project come together, and added: “You could see how grateful people were and it made me feel really good.
“When we made the very first brick, everyone cheered and there was a round of applause.”
The machine will have a life span of four to five years, in which time hundreds of thousands of bricks can be produced to build earthquake-proof houses.
Mr Carr hopes ground would be broken on the first house later this week, as more than 1,000 bricks have already been made.
He added: “They could build a house a week as they are not very big and are quite basic.
“We are also concentrating on making them earthquake-proof with reinforced steel bars.
“I think between 70 to 100 houses will need to be built in Rabi Opi. When that is completed, they will move the machine to another village and start there.”
The club will continue its fundraising efforts as the charity is running low on cement.
Mr Carr told the Mercury £2,000 is needed for more supplies, and added: “It has been fantastic and very successful but it will be an ongoing effort to provide the material needed.
“This has been a great project and I do not want to forget it, I want to see how many houses can be built.”
So far the club has hosted a number of charity nights and Mr Carr also took part in a 15,000ft skydive.
To support Wrington Vale Rotary Club and the Shiva Charity, visit www.mydonate.bt.com/events/garryskydive
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