Gorkhaly Foundation delivered power generator “Urja” to Barpak, Nepal, giving 1200 families access to food and light in wake of disastrous earthquake.
Washington DC, May 29, 2015: Gorkhaly Foundation delivered a power generator (Urja) to the village of Barpak on May 25 (a month after the devastating earthquake), and it is now fully in operation. Urja (meaning energy in Nepali) is the name given to the diesel generator typically used for power supply in places like Barpak that have lost all connection to power grids.
While permanent access to energy will be in the long-term goals for Barpak, Urja will serve the immediate energy needs of the village. Urja will supply electricity to run the village food mill that will feed 1200 households giving it short term food security, will directly support lighting for temporary- shelters, health post, local businesses, and schools, and will provide energy for strategic rebuilding.
On Urja’s arrival, local community leader and Ashoka Fellow Bir Bahadur Ghale responded with gratitude saying, “We got the electricity line from the generator yesterday. From tomorrow we will start the mills to grind flour and rice. 1200 families will have access to food, and to light. Also, communication is key, everyone has a mobile phone, and if they can easily charge their mobiles, I hope that it will make their lives easier in many ways. I would like to give many thanks to all our well wishers in the US who worked through the Gorkhaly Foundation and Nepal Ko Yuwa to make this happen.”
Barpak in Gorkha district was at the epicenter of the 7.6 M earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25, and suffered insurmountable loss. 95% of the 1200 homes in Barpak village were completely destroyed including schools, health posts, food mills, and local businesses. It was a prosperous and self-reliant village with 24-hour electricity, a thriving local business and agro community, and had connectivity to the rest of the world through the Internet. With the earthquake, Barpak lost many of its men, women and children, its infrastructure, the access it had to energy, and the steady development it had made over the years.
Barpak’s resilient and entrepreneurial nature came through strongly once again during crisis. Through Gorkhaly Foundation’s advisor and local partner Bir Bahadur Ghale, the village asked for help in restoring access to energy in the short term so that they could begin strategic rebuilding for the long term. Community leaders such as Bir Bahadur Ghale have been focused on formulating a plan to build an earthquake-resilient village for the future, and Gorkhaly Foundation intends to continue providing technical and financial support to Barpak through Mr. Ghale.
In the immediate future, as the families move to nearby locations while the rebuilding takes place, Gorkhaly Foundation will build partnerships to provide financial assistance for temporary shelter, supplies, sanitation, health care and schools.
Community driven strategic planning is currently underway in Barpak with support from Bir Bahadur Ghale and in-field volunteers. This will help in informing medium- and long-term rebuilding efforts. A Rebuild Barpak Plan, where the community identifies the critical infrastructure and services, will help Barpak in estimating its investment needs, both for relief and recovery. We aim to partner with the community and help them access support from the government, the private and the social sector.
With the monsoon fast approaching, which will further make relief and recovery challenging, timely action is needed in order to save lives. For more information about our campaign, or to DONATE, please visit www.gorkhaly.org.
Gorkhaly Foundation is an all volunteer group based in Washington DC and a partner in a global collaborative campaign “Nepal Rising,” which is led by Nepal Ko Yuwa, a 501 (c)(3) compliant nonprofit organization.