Ruby Valley (North Dhading) Status Update

Ruby Valley Status Report                                       10 May 2015

Information in this report was provided by Kul Bahadur Gurung, President of Ganesh Himal Tourism Development Committee as well as second vice-president of TAAN. After the earthquake, 15 young men from the community were dispatched on foot with satellite phone and visited remote villages to get this info. Also, where phone calls were possible (e.g. to Lapagaon) local villagers provided the information.

Please note that these figures are estimates as per the locals and the recce survey teams. Figures provided are for percentage of houses that are not habitable. This includes houses that are fully or partially collapsed, plus houses that are badly cracked making them dangerous to live in.

Figures are provided for 4 of the Ruby Valley VDC’s, namely Jharlang, Tipling, Shertung and Lapa. The VDC of Ri is on the other side of the valley and accessed by a different road. We do not have stats for Ri VDC.

Jarlang VDC

Name of village Original Number of houses Percent uninhabitable comment
Jharlang village 275 75%
Ungul 325 65%
Chyamthali 29 75%
Akthali 252 65%
Percho 10 90%

Tipling VDC

Name of village Original Number of houses Percent uninhabitable comment
Yanjo 30 30%
Lingjo 150 80%
Lapdung 75 75%
Tulo Gaon 110 90%
Sanu Gaon 85 90%
Kami gaun 18 95% Dalit village, blacksmiths
Phyang 49 95%

Shertung VDC

Name of village Original Number of houses Percent uninhabitable comment
Shertung village 685 75% 45% badly damaged, 30% cracked
Kharsha 75 95% Mostly collapsed
Chalice 85 100% 75% collapsed, 25% cracked
Hindung 95 100% A few days ago there was a landslide which killed another person (total  7 victims now) and destroyed the rest of the houses
Aui 60 85%
Boran 165 85%
Triveni 6 Unsure
Sarkhuni 25 ? 75%, quicker to fix due to construction type 75% damaged. These houses are made of bamboo and were therefore only ‘lightly damaged’

 

Lapa VDC

Name of village Original Number of houses Percent uninhabitable comment
Khading 165 85%
Lapagaon 325 75%
Kupchet 95 75%
Lapchet 49 85%
Kapurgaun 45 65%
Rachyet 38 90%
Tirigaon 52 90% This village is known for its previous landslide. It has had further landslides after the earthquake
Neber 69 90% School collapsed

 

Road and path access to Ruby Valley; GHTDC coordinated Road Fixing project

The VDC’s of Jharlang, Shertung, Tipling and Lapa are usually accessed by a jeep track which starts near Dhading Besi and ends near Jharlang. This is usually a 4h30min bumpy drive. The road is not currently in use due to 3 areas of bad damage.  Furthermore, there is damage to the foot path (mule track) between Jarlang and Boran (in Shertung VDC).

Road fixing has been identified as an absolute priority, as supplies could then be taken up to Jharlang and further distributed by local porter and mules. There is apparently a lot of stock of relief supplies (food and tarps) from various NGO’s that is stuck in storage in Dhading Besi waiting to be distributed. As soon as the road is fixed, traditional transport in the form of jeep, mule and porter can be utilized. There are mules and porters available in the 4 VDC’s who will be able to be employed for this purpose.

GHTDC have taken it upon themselves to coordinate the fixing of the road and hope to be able to recover costs from donors. They have employed 50 local workers from the 4 VDC’s above the damaged road at Rs 1,000 per day each. Each VDC committee has selected workers for this effort. These men will travel on foot to the damaged areas. They will be provided with helmets and pairs of steel-based shoes (purchased by GHTDC).

UPDATE 11 May 2015 The DDC (District Development Committee for Ruby Valley has agreed to pay the costs of labour for road fixing initiative.

The road fixing teams will be headed up by 5 team leaders from Kathmandu, each with satellite phones. They will also keep an eye on security issues. There are coordinators in KTM and in Dhading Besi, also coordinating with the VDC committees for this project.   Road construction materials have already been purchased.

Road fixing is estimated to take between 4 and 7 days. One day is lost for workers to travel on foot to the damaged areas.

Initial budget of USD 5000 has been set aside for this road fixing project.

Further information

Households have been able to dig out some food supplies from under rubble, but often contaminated with dirt.

Through various personal donations, tarps and some other supplies have already been delivered to the 4 VDC’s although more supplies are needed. Another helicopter drop of tarps is arranged with the army helicopters from Kathmandu for today and tomorrow.  This has largely been coordinated by Kul Bahadur Gurung.

Himalayan HealthCare is a very active American NGO responsible for schools and clinics in the area. They are running and effective MASH unit (field hospital) at Shertung and are seeing many patients from around the VDC’s. They are also providing tarps and rice and have coordinated helicopter drops.

Metal roofing from before the earthquake is not easy to reuse due to damage.  GHTDC is considering options for methods of home reconstruction so as to be more earthquake resistant in the future. They will seek information advice from other NGO’s for reconstruction. Certain villages might actually be rebuilt in slightly a different location.

Local trekking companies are helping out in their own villages.

Kadoorie (partner of Gurkha Welfare Trust) needs to be contacted to ask for assistance with water supply and sanitation in the area. They have also supplied roofing and built bridges in the area previously. Collaboration is needed with Kadorie for longer term rebuilding.

SAMARTH is another NGO that was previously very active in the Ruby Valley area and might be able to contribute towards redevelopment in the area too.

The government earthquake relief funds are also coming through for all 4 VDC’s, with allotments of Rs 10,000 per household for collapsed homes and Rs 5,000 for other households.

For further information, please contact Kul Bahadur Gurung at  http://www.rubyvalleytreks.org/contact-us.html#&panel1-7 or email him at kul@gototrek.com

About nomadhelen

Mountaineer, medic, musician and muser. All a bit random!
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