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One Year After the Nepal Quake: Resilience and Uncertainty as Remote Mountain Villages Rebuild
  • Jeremy Spoon, Portland State University
  • Meeta S. Pradhan
One year after the devastating Nepal earthquakes, many households are still in the earliest stages of recovery. The initial relief effort was rapid and far-reaching, but the path to recovery and reconstruction has been very slow going. Today, many families continue to sleep in tents and temporary shelters, and eat in their damaged homes. Others have been temporarily relocated to camps because their homes were totally destroyed.

The natural disaster brought to the surface many of the stark social inequalities that existed prior to the earthquakes, and persist today. During the aftermath, the poor, rural, marginalized and subsistence-based households have suffered the worst of the impacts. Some families have stopped waiting for government assistance and are rebuilding on their own as best they can. Local residents in many communities are drawing on the tradition of mutual labor exchange (parma) to rebuild homes and local infrastructure, including schools, monasteries and temples—a sort of Himalayan barn raising, as practiced historically in the US. Some communities are building back their homes and livelihoods just as they were before the initial quakes. Others are employing new ideas that will help them become more resilient to future natural hazards. Certain communities have had much success procuring resources through their own international connections, such as tourists and family members working abroad. As a consequence, some areas have been able to recover more quickly than others.
  • Earthquakes – Nepal
Publication Date
Citation Information
Jeremy Spoon and Meeta S. Pradhan. "One Year After the Nepal Quake: Resilience and Uncertainty as Remote Mountain Villages Rebuild" (2016)
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