Post-earthquake reconstruction in Nepal

The earthquake that hit Nepal on 25th April 2015 was the biggest in eighty years. It killed around 9,000 people and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless.

Entire villages were flattened and aftershocks continued for months after the major earthquake – meaning that communities were unable to start rebuilding their homes and lives.

Following the major earthquake, Practical Action distributed emergency relief, including hygiene kits, water purifiers, food packages, shelter and access to energy. We then helped to construct temporary shelters, renovated and repaired drinking water systems, and repaired and improved footpaths.

Our work has now moved into its next phase –  helping communities rebuild their lives and livelihoods.

But more than just rebuilding, we have an opportunity to build back better. This not only means building homes that will withstand future earthquakes, but also stopping women, children and men from inhaling smoke in their homes which slowly kills them, by installing smoke hoods into the new homes.

We are working in the earthquake-affected communities of the Dhading and Gorkha Districts of Nepal. Our plans include:

  • training masons to build houses and reconstruct of earthquake-damaged infrastructure
  • rebuilding livelihoods through food production and security, and improved agriculture
  • raising awareness and skills for safer construction practices

Project aims and impact


  • help support 5,000 households through rebuilding efforts
  • support 30,000 people through rebuilding efforts and livelihoods support.

Who are we helping?

This project is working with poor, remote communities in the Gorkha and Dhading districts of Nepal where the earthquake had the biggest impact. Homes and livelihoods were destroyed, and because of the poverty, it has been hard for people to ‘bounce back’ from the disaster, particularly due to a lack of knowledge and income to rebuild their homes.

Phase one

Immediately after the earthquake, Practical Action distributed emergency relief (food, shelter and water) to 7,028 households in six Village Development Committees (VDCs) of Gorkha District and three VDCs of Dhading District.

We have also provided transitional support to 1,000 households through skill development training and material support for safer construction; livelihood activity (seeds, livestock, poultry, etc. through cash transfer); and basic sanitation support in the form of temporary latrines. We are working to rehabilitate three micro-hydro power plants, benefiting 9,000 affected people.

Phase two

The project is now entering its next phase, working with the affected communities to help them to rebuild their homes and their lives.

This project will not just help communities to rebuild their lives but to do it better, so that they are more resilient to future disasters.

Some of our other project work - such as improved cookers, solar energy and smoke hoods - will be incorporated into this project to make communities stronger and healthier.

  • We intend to reach more than 5,000 households directly through our rebuilding support. Our involvement will cover at least 12 VDC’s in the severely impacted Districts namely Gorkha, and Dhading.
  • The rebuilding work will provide skills training, marketing and awareness raising - as well as providing sustainable infrastructure, energy equipment and model constructions. 
  • Our livelihood support includes restoring food production and access to markets, livestock management and well-being activities. The objective will be to improve agriculture productivity and rural income for the disaster affected communities and food and nutritional security, particularly women and children.

    We also intend to support the rebuilding and improvement of community drinking water supplies and introduce or improve on the reduction of household firewood requirements and enhance the renewable energy technologies (solar, stoves, cooking).

Individual and community infrastructures:
The earthquake has damaged individual infrastructures including houses, livestock sheds; community infrastructure like schools, drinking water systems, irrigation and micro-hydro plants. These need to be reconstructed using earthquake resilient methods and materials. We have previously constructed earthquake resilient facilities in Kaski District, close to Gorkha, which withstood the recent earthquakes.

Restoration of livelihoods:
Livelihood have been affected, so the communities are in need of alternative opportunities whilst the agriculture sector recovers. Information services on a wide range of issues including agriculture food production, food processing, access to markets, health, gender and other issues will be established to help communities improve their income generating activities. Building on their income will help them become more resilient.

Access to appropriate knowledge and information:
The affected communities lack access to information and knowledge on safer construction practices and strengthening livelihoods. This project will train local masons, carpenters and other labourers to generate a skilled rural labour force that can rebuild earthquake resilient homes

Institutional capacity:
Local organisations including NGOs and government bodies need support to build their capacity to deliver at higher levels, as well as technical support to develop their knowledge of disaster resilient practices.  This is needed both for efficient and effective delivery on the ground, and to influence policy making for long term sustainability and resilience. Practical Action will work in partnership with NGO’s and government bodies to ensure that the project has the most impact and benefits even more people.

Water and sanitation:
The main focus for water and sanitation involves reviving and rebuilding damaged water and sanitation infrastructures, to restore water supplies and improve household sanitation.

We have already installed then solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and solar water purifiers at schools in Gorkha and Dhading, and we are rehabilitating three micro-hydro systems in Gorkha and Dhading districts.

How you can help

It’s not a matter of ‘if’ another earthquake hits Nepal, but when. So it’s vital that families build homes that have been designed to withstand another earthquake.

This is a once in a generation chance for people to build safer, stronger homes. But we need your help.


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A massive earthquake hit Nepal on 25th April 2015. Practical Action helped relief efforts on the ground and are now helping to rebuild homes and livelihoods.

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