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Nepal Earthquake | Bringing more than a temporary fix.

View from Keura, Nepal | Nepal Earthquake

Written by Michael Steele, engineer in Nepal, with Tara Jones

We woke up at 3 A.M. On purpose.

We drove three hours down into the valley and were met by the people at the base of the mountain. The road to their community had been washed out by a recent landslide, which left a path of rock to climb by foot. Women and men grabbed our gear, tied it to their backs and began the trek up to the village. After three hours, we reached the community of Keura, where about 575 people lived.

Keura Village | Nepal Earthquake

Chlorinator and equipment for Keura community | Nepal Earthquake

Climbing up to Keura | Nepal Earthquake

Only half of the homes still stood. The rest were rubble under our feet. Walking through the community was stepping stone by stone over homes.

Keura home | Nepal Earthquake

Lamb in Keura | Nepal Earthquake

Earthquake destruction in Keura | Nepal Earthquake

We could see the remains of what was once a school and where children used to play. We could also see their ruined water distribution system – lines were shifted, pipes broken and as a result the pressure from taps that ran untreated water from a tank was incredibly low.

We went about our work: installing a chlorinator to treat their water and fix the broken piping in the community. When it came time to drink the water, the people of Keura resisted because they were not accustomed to the taste of the chlorine in the water that was treated.

That is when a member of a neighboring community, a gentleman from Pokhari, named Suk, stepped in. Pokhari had safe water for about a week by now, and was accustomed to a slight chlorine taste in the water. Suk explained that although it tasted different, it was necessary. His village had embraced the new water system, and he was excited to teach his neighbors about it.

Suk, Pokhari's operator teaches | Nepal Earthquake

Chlorinator and chlorine testing | Nepal Earthquake

Suk teaching Keura | Nepal Earthquake

In each disaster response project, we appoint “an operator” who is a member of the community. We give the operator our phone numbers and consistently follow up to make sure that everything is working well and check to see that the community is drinking the safe water. Suk, the operator from neighboring Pokhari, was coincidentally in Keura that day to buy three chickens. The communities are about an hour apart from each other, which is the closest neighboring village.

When it came time for our team to appoint an operator and train them to use the chlorinator, Suk helped to teach the men in Keura how to set the right chlorine level, test the amount, and read the level. It was a cool moment for us, to sit back and have him teach them. It confirmed that what we are providing will last long after the day we leave.

Keura community with tap stands | Nepal Earthquake

Tapstands in Keura | Nepal Earthquake

That night, we stayed with the pastor of Keura. His family fed us full meals. We ate, knowing that they had nothing. My eyes wandered over to the right. Next to where we were sitting, they’re rebuilding their house. Laid stone by stone, the walls stood about three feet tall.

building Keura back | Nepal Earthquake

Keira rebuilding | Nepal Earthquake

Rebuilding homes in Keura | Nepal Earthquake

Keura woman and daughter | Nepal Earthquake

Nepal isn’t sitting around waiting. They’re rebuilding. They’re eager to strap pipes to their backs, hike up a mountain for three hours and ultimately learn about how to care for the new safe water systems they are being provided.

And perhaps what is most encouraging of all is that what we’re doing here isn’t a temporary fix. It’s instilling knowledge to teach their communities and neighbors. It’s restoring health, as many are suffering from waterborne illnesses. It’s providing safe water for the rest of their lives. And it’s learning a deeper gratitude from a people so eager to give the little they have.

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Children of Keura | Nepal Earthquake

6 Responses.
  1. Bruce Lewis June 6, 2015
    Bruce Lewis June 6, 2015

    Grace and peace:

    Thanking our LORD for your good work in Nepal and around the world. Thank you for this good update. Sending along to a few others.

    Reply
  2. Laura Kelly June 16, 2015
    Laura Kelly June 16, 2015

    Amazing story. We will continue to pray for your safe travels and for the people of Nepal.

    Reply
    • Tara Jones September 15, 2015
      Tara Jones September 15, 2015

      Hi Kevin, can you send me an email (tjones@watermissions.org) and let me know which photo you would like to use and for what purpose? Thank you.

      Reply
      • Wayne Derbyshire January 31, 2018
        Wayne Derbyshire January 31, 2018

        The Parker hose is made in a small facility in Fergus, Ontario Canada. Its great to see the far reaching positive effect we can have on peoples lives!!!!

        Reply
        • Jennie Reeb February 1, 2018
          Jennie Reeb February 1, 2018

          Hi Wayne,

          It is amazing to see how many hands go into making safe water possible for people! A major thank you to your team for creating a great product that brings life change to many. Every part of the process is crucial and that’s why we highly value our partners, like Parker, who take the time to do it right.

          All the best,
          Jennie – Water Mission

          Reply
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