Welcome Community Service of Nepal!


Hi There!

I appreciate your specific questions to help guide me in introducing our group. I am (personally) named Lisa Bates, and I am in Provo, Utah in the United States. I am doing all of the internet search for resources that is necessary now in order to connect with any supplies that can be distributed as aid.

To tell the history of the humanitarian work done by Madhav Bhandari, would take more room than I have here to tell. He grew up as a poor orphan boy, and he swore he would never forget the orphans and other disadvantaged people. He has not. He has spent his life helping all sorts of people, from where he lives in Lalitpur, Nepal, just outside of Kathmandu, to the decision by him and his partners to devote 25% of the profits of their travel and tourism business to Madhav’s charity work, (You can read all about it on his website HERE)

Finally, last year, he was able to found Community Service of Nepal… the Board of Directors was mostly women by design, to empower women, and also two men. The nonprofit has been active in training underprivileged women employable skills.

The organization also took the Kopila Chidrens Center - a 30 child orphanage - under its  protection. Here is a photo of Madhav delivering badly needed winter clothes to them a few months ago.

Madhav is the tall man in the back wearing a hat.

He is a respected community leader who spearheaded relief efforts among the Nepali people after the Jure Landslide Disaster earlier this year. In this photo, he is presiding at the front of the planning meeting while another man speaks… I have SO MANY photos of this man in action, it is difficult to know which ones will best tell his story.

AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE, first there was the TERROR of not knowing whether our friends in Nepal were dead or alive! After we located everyone we learned that Madhav was with the orphans, and that they were safe!! It was amazing to have everyone alive after so many people were lost!! The orphans are now housed in a strong building, and our donations are going toward their food, etc. as needed.

However, MANY THOUSANDS of people have not yet received aid in the widely scattered villages of Sindhulpachok where we are focusing our efforts now. There are around 6000 completely homeless people in only the three villages of Dhuskun, Piskar and Chokati right now, and there are around 100 of these extremely inaccessible villages in that district alone. The problem is MUCH BIGGER than the 6000 people we are focusing on, but we do have to start SOMEWHERE, when the entire country is like a War Zone!

Here is a photo of Dhuskun before the earthquake (the village in the foreground - It is much bigger than it looks, but a lot of it is hidden in the trees.) It is about 2 hours trek straight up the hillside (“mountainside” in any other country) from the main road, which is down at the bottom of the Sunkoshi River Valley. THE BLUE BUILDING is a community school that our founder helped build over 10 years ago.

Madhav Bhandari grew up in this area,so he immediately went to see for himself how bad the damage is in that area.  He went in before the road was repaired, and then climbed up to see how the villagers were living. It is a scene of great devastation!

At first, we thought to purchase strong relief tents to supplement the tarpaulins that the other nonprofits are distributing (while drawing attention to the extreme need in the area so that the people WOULD FINALLY GET the tarps and food aid in the first place. We found a source for 1000 tents that could be delivered from New Delhi within 5-6 days for approximately $100 each, and with the monsoon season’s driving heavy rains due to start ANY DAY NOW and dump 1500 mm of rain on the area before September, we have been collecting money to give them good tents. But we need to raise all of the funds, to deliver them at once, due to the GROUP orientation of the Nepali culture. To buy the tents for some of the people at a time as we get the money would NOT WORK. It would create a strong resentment between the people who have shelter and the people who have not received it yet. So far, we have several thousand US dollars in Madhav’s trustworthy care. He is building the fund while carefully controlling spending to the bare necessities of the situation. He is an extremely ethical man, whom I have known and worked closely with for 6 years, and I would trust him with my donations before anyone else.  To buy the needed tents will cost USD$100,000! we are raising funds at our fund-raiser website HERE

HOWEVER, the PEOPLE THEMSELVES are begging for corrugated iron sheets instead of tents. They can use the rubble from the earthquake and build shelters if they have the corrugated iron sheets, AND the iron sheets will last for DECADES and can be the first piece of their new home when they rebuild after the monsoon season, in the fall. Here is a photo of how the iron sheets can be creatively used to create superior shelters:

The corrugated iron is much more expensive than tents, but the people know what they need much better than we do because they are the ones who need to live in their own situation. We need to change all of our fund-raising appeals to corrugated iron, and we need to find a cheap source of he iron sheets… VERY CHEAP! Below cost would be ideal. SO MANY PEOPLE ARE NEEDING ADEQUATE SHELTER TO MAKE IT THROUGH THE MONSOONS, and one tarp per family, while it is IMPORTANT and better than nothing, will be totally INADEQUATE all by itself. I sent a letter to a big steel company, but I have not heard back yet.

Meanwhile, Madhav is scouring the countryside for ANY possible lead on whom to contact, and what to do, to get into our share of the AID sent from around the world so that we can distribute it to the suffering people.

SO our current activity consists of CONNECTING INTO the official network of aid, which has been very difficult to locate in the confusion, and collecting money for shelter for the thousands of homeless people in the Sindhulpachok district.

Madhav went to a SHELTER CLUSTER CONTACT meeting yesterday and made important connections with the people who are sending aid to the nearest city in Sindhulpachok District to the isolated people we are talking about.


The United Nations and the Nepali Government have set up separate “clusters of contacts” for each of the different types of aid, such as SHELTER CLUSTER, FOOD CLUSTER, MEDICAL CLUSTER, LOGISTICS CLUSTER, etc. The clusters all have SEPARATE meetings and are also divided by the area of Nepal that they are intended to serve. It is a complicated system, and I am studying the internet documents as quickly as I can understand the interwoven information, so that I have been able to give Madhav contact and meeting information for the SHELTER, FOOD, and MEDICAL clusters. He is an extremely capable leader, and we are hoping that his influence in the meetings will open the floodgates of aid to the people in the isolated villages in Sindhulpachok, many of whom have not yet received one biscuit of aid.

Finally,you can see below the extreme difficulty of getting ANY type of aid into the area . It is a small photo, but it really shows what people have to do to bring anything up into the high country where some villages are more than a day’s TREK straight up the mountain! It is very important that Madhav knows the communities and is already a community leader there, in addition to his leadership duties in Lalitpur and Kathmandu. His knowledge and expertise are needed to get the aid in to the people who need it.

It is POSSIBLE that we may be able to schedule one or more helicopter drop-offs, but that will involve Madhav attending the next LOGISTICS CLUSTER meeting to learn about the extensive paperwork that the logistics cluster requires.



A Deeper Connection

Hi Lisa,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed narrative on the work @Community_Service_of_Nepal. I can read from your narrative that you must share a deeper tie with Nepal and the community Madhav Bhandari has been working with.

I think when we talk about immediate relief, pockets of population get either ignored or are invisible so I am glad that the orphans are receiving care. I wanted to know what the experience has been for the children (and would also like to point out that different groups are trying to work on “art therapy” projects for children to deal with post trauma stress issues) and maybe something similar can be done with them.

I was curious as to know if there were any challenges to coordinate between you (given you were in the US, and keeping vigil virtually) and the local relief efforts being led by Madhav ji. If yes, could you elaborate on that?

Hope to learn more about the initiative as we begin this dialogue.


Hi Dipti,

Thanks for your response to what I wrote. Sorry about the crazy text size assortment. I don’t quite understand why the text size jumped when I wrote, so I couldn’t fix it.

I have interviews of the orphans from before the earthquake. Their responses were amazingly similar. They told of their loss of parental support, and they were generally brought to the Kopila Child Protection Center by a distant relative who wanted to make sure they were fed and (very importantly) would have an education, which is NOT a given in Nepal, especially for the very poor.  Every single one of them asked for warmer clothes (the interviews were done in the fall) so our group raised the money and Madhav took warm clothes for each of them. That is the day that photo was taken. Since the earthquake, honestly, there has been SO much emphasis on getting aid to the people who have not had ANY help, that there has been no time or manpower to re-interview them. The art therapy idea sounds wonderful. Do you have any contact information for the people who are doing that, which you could share with us?

As far as the challenges to coordinate between me in the US and the local relief efforts by Madhav and his team, they have been enormous. For starters, Madhav’s power and internet connection for his cell phone have been completely stop-and-go. I NEVER know when I will be able to hear from him, so I have my own cell phone volume on high, and it makes a certain sound every time somebody instant messages me. I now wake up the second I hear that sound in case it is Madhav checking in.

The ONE purchase that we in the USA insisted that Madhav purchase that was not actual direct aid, was a better phone. His old one was hanging on by a thread, and did NOT take photos. We NEEDED the capability of getting photos of his actions and his view of the need, in order to be able to help him. Previously, he had only been able to send photos when he was able to borrow a phone for some event, such as the donation of the warmer clothes to the orphans. Borrowing a phone is NOT easy in Nepal, even with Madhav’s motives and connections. He is much better able to keep us informed now that he has his new phone, which is an older model that does what he needs it to do. He had a really hard time agreeing to spend that money on “Himself” with so many others in need. I am really glad he listened to us and understood that the camera phone issue was critical to being able to get help from so far away,

Second, and a REALLY IMPORTANT factor, is that there is a TREMENDOUS amount of confusion in Nepal right now. The government pipelines for distributing aid are NOT well advertised. I had to search and search to finally connect with the right information, and that was only after I talked on the phone with the Mission Director of USAID Nepal. When I FINALLY started to connect with the right information, I found the whole system very confusing and disjointed. It is completely divided by type of aid, and area to be served. Madhav is having to SEPARATELY connect with the aid sources for SHELTER, FOOD, MEDICINE and LOGISTICS. There are other pipelines, such as the WASH initiative concerned with hygiene, and he can connect with them later, but just getting the contact information and meeting schedule for these groups and then getting into the loop took DAYS of work, even after I knew what I was looking for.

What is upsetting to me is that people were getting more and more desperate in the isolated villages as each day was essentially wasted trying to connect with what in my mind should have been like a highway infrastructure of aid to the people who need it. But, that is only my own humble opinion. It is borne out of my frustration. I know the aid is being managed by the Nepali government and the UN working together, and I would have thought the UN would have a more streamlined and accessible system. OK I said my piece. Overall, I am just grateful that Madhav is going to be able to get the people what they need as soon as the system starts to deliver through him.

Everything is evolving on a minute to minute and day by day basis. Madhav and his team are on foot (he does not drive - he has always taken public transportation which is disrupted at this time) with a cell phone that only connects part of the time. His own family is living under a tarp. Thank God his wife SIta (who has been in an outlying district to survey the damage in conjunction with her employment for a Nepali NGO that works with the government on women’s issues) is safe, and his two children Akshata and Aabhushan are all right as well. I do not know how he keeps putting one foot in front of another in his situation. I can tell from his communications that he is numb with the tragedy all around him, and his chosen responsibility for so many people. His determination inspires me and the team of us in the USA who support his work the best we can with what logistical help we can, donations to give him resources to use when the needed items become available, and also by SHARING the news of his work and the needs of the people of SIndhulpachowk district where we are focusing our biggest efforts at this time due to the extreme need there.

I really like your suggestion about getting the orphans some emotional support for their trauma and loss. I have not checked the weather for Nepal yet today. The three villages Madhav is starting with in Sindhulpachok have around 6000 homeless people in them. And there are about 100 of these villages spread out through the mountainous “hill country” out there.

Madhav has always had a vision of strengthening his beloved Nepal in many ways… helping the underprivileged and “backwards” people who do not know basic things like the WASH hygeine guidelines, or how to prevent disease. They have a way of life that goes back thousands of years. He wants to preserve all that is best of Nepal while bringing it out of third world status. His vision is huge, but he understands that he needs to start with only a specific piece of the pie. He is a person who will work his way outward from whatever successes he is able to have, to include others in his work. He wants to reach the other villages in Sindhulpachok once the first three have been helped.

I personally believe in the spirit of the Nepali people. I pray that the crisis they are in will only become the birth pangs of an even greater and more modern Nepal that is still steeped in its rich spiritual traditions. I am a bit of a dreamer, but that is the kind of idea that keeps Madhav and the rest of our team going. I am babbling a bit - but I wanted to express where all of this effort is coming from. Connecting with the people of Nepal, as one of our team members pointed out yesterday, helps all of us in the USA Team feel more human - more connected to the human race. Madhav and his work enrich OUR lives as well as the lives of the people he works to serve.

I guess that is all I wanted to say. Have a great day, and thanks again for your contribution to this conversation.

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Corrugated metal does sound like something that will provide long lasting support. Off the cuff you’re looking at about 5 kg (10 lbs) per 1 m² (square yard) for 0.5 mm which seems to be a common thickness. The more zinc you have per area the longer it’ll last, a good paint cover will help as well - especially against condensation that you’ll probably get a lot when building in Nepal. You could probably go with less thickness and reduce weight (and lifetime), but not make a big dent in cost.

Here are a number of Chinese and Indian suppliers of corrugated sheet metal. I ticked off the trade assurance box in the hope to get reliable suppliers with short lead times. You can check those in the supplier infos (but take em with a big chunk of Himalayan salt). I think in this case the “last mile” also merits particular attention - I’ll get to that later. The response rate will probably indicate how quick they are in reacting at all. You may need a bit of back forth to avoid ordering a bunch of containers of the wrong product. I believe what you are looking for is something like 35/207 trapezoidal sheet metal or at least something that plays well with it. I assume your best bet is to make a long list and get a lot of Mandarin speakers on telephones if you want to avoid misunderstanding and make rapid progress. In Europe the stuff sells for around 7$ per square yard (10 sqft) in small batches. I’d assume you’d get it significantly cheaper in somewhat lower quality. Let’s see of the cuff there are 1E5 (new?) homeless people who need 15$ worth of roof each. That is $1.5 Million + transport. The former should not be a problem, the latter will be.

Another product that may help is GFRP roofing sheets. Here you’d want glass fiber with some transparent plastic (not PVC). Alternatively there is cellular pc - but that stuff is a little sensitive mechanically (and expensive). It is extremely light though and would probably be the first choice for air-lifting/dropping. But even GFRP will probably weigh significantly less (perhaps air-lifting would be realistic) and both will allow some light through the roofs. They won’t last forever (Nepali UV load will be high, but my gut says you can expect 5 years minimum - perhaps 10) but it may be possible to re-purpose them into some sort of cold frame later.

Regarding the last mile here is a thought: The stuff will probably arrive through the main roads on truck/20ft containers. It’ll go the last mile either by donkey or human in many cases. So what I would do is bundle them with other supplies that are typically needed in the following way. You need some sturdy long poles (approx 60-70 mm (2"-3") in diameter), perhaps a few shorter cross-beams, and some cordage and then turn the sheets into improvised stretchers with other supplies secured on top of them. This could be done in the population centers, or perhaps better in temporary distribution centers, where the supplies could just be dropped off.

Until this gets rolling I’d like to throw in this idea for consideration again. It would be much cheaper than tents (and ultra-light) - and would probably be relatively easy to integrate with existing improvised shelters. And of course this could be mixed with hexayurts as well, which would make the roofing a breeze.

I’m not sure if someone already contacted Ralf, but if there is someone on the ground who has a little background or interest in this - now is a good opportunity to get the ball rolling. It is not rocket science and it works very nicely. I helped build something like it myself.

Oh yeah almost forgot - If you need money for steel, talk to Lakshmi. But honestly, I think he is very much on this already.

Lakshmi Mittal

You kind of casually mentioned talking to Lakshmi… I read about him from your reference and a google search. But I haven’t found any contact information (not unexpectedly)… do you have his email address, by any chance? Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

I have some inquiries in with the Chinese companies already, too.



No email address, sorry

I don’t have any way of contacting him directly. You could drop a contact request with a short description of your intentions at a PR department of one of the Arcelor Mittal steel works I guess. The shorter you keep it and the more obvious the PR-spin becomes (well spent money) the higher the chances someone would want to be the person forwarding this up-hill. Alternatively you could try to infer his address from other relatively high-ranking public company addresses, though I have no idea if he’d (personally) get it on the radar even then.



Thank you for your ideas… Yes, we have thought about the hexayurts, but they are not approved for construction in Nepal… We had an engineer working on the problem after the recent devastating Jure Landslide in the same area, but it never went anywhere.

I am also looking into the superadobe construction that uses packed earth in bags and barbed wire to lock the bags together, and can be made permanent by plastering over the construction. That is about as inexpensive as materials can get, yet the constructions are amazingly durable.

An orphanage in Nepal built of superadobe huts survived the quake relatively unscathed while the neighboring buildings were destroyed. I was thinking that if the people were to work together on a community structure using the superadobe method. I am in the process of learning more about it and if it looks like we are going to go that way when the time comes, I would take classes in it myself, along with another member of the team who is interested, and possibly get Madhav or one of his team in Nepal over here to join us – then we could teach the people how to build the community structure, and in the process they would be learning how to rebuild their own homes. Then, they would have a skill they could use to help other villages with, and potentially even barter or whatever for their contributions.

HOWEVER I am having to reign myself in to not get too far ahead. My function in the group is sort of enthusiastic idea person, and I need to keep my feet on the ground. There are Tens of Thousands of people in Sindhulpachok who have not yet seen one grain of rice or a simple tarp in aid. That is where I need to keep my focus now.

BUT, with that said, THANK YOU for the leads on the roofing materials!!!

I have to go now, but I REALLY APPRECIATE becoming part of your team, and I will follow up on the leads that you have given me!

Thanks again,


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Try Tencate for superadobe

Best wishes to Madhav, I’m just happy to help.

I had toyed with the idea of something in superadobe/earthship style as well. I was a little afraid of the stuff becoming unstable/liquifying in an earthquake, especially because it tends to be rather heavy I think. But you motivated me to skim over a Master’s thesis from 2012 where nothing of the sort jumped at me straight away at least. So I guess it’d be worth further consideration. With you being in the US I’d recommend having a look at this for a few minutes and then just ring up Tencate. They should have the necessary materials, and you won’t induce disaster because you’re skimping on quality.

Personally, I’d still be a little afraid of using this above the 1st floor but I’m no expert. The other thing is that it probably is a lot of work (food calories) to raise such a structure, and you’d maybe rather re-use the rubble in some situations - but that is something people on the ground can decide much better. Two more advantages would be that you can airlift A LOT of the stuff for a song all the way to Nepal. And whatever surplus you may have can probably be used for food storage - which may become another issue down the road a bit…

If you ever need other pointers regarding industrial stuff I can highly recommend McMaster Carr for the average Jane or Joe. Just clicking around the page generally it helps a lot to get started (or on the same page as some specialist engineer), and if you want to cobble together some proof of concept - their delivery in the US is real fast!

Earth bag design and alternatives

Hello Lisa from @Community_Service_of_Nepal, and welcome in this space :slight_smile: I’m sure your detailed account of distributing supplied as an independent organization has very helpful pointers for others in the same situation here in Nepal – thanks a lot! BTW, I’m Matthias, tech person on the edgeryders.eu team and currently located in Kathmandu.

Glad you’re having this constructive discussion with @trythis here, who is always resourceful like that :slight_smile: Can I join you two here and drop in one thought of my own re. earthquake proof traditional housing for Nepal. Just as an item on your list as an idea person – welcome to use as you see fit. (It’s not yet a detailed proposal and not checked by civil engineers, that would be the next steps.)

When observing the traditional houses made from loose quarrystone in Dhading, and the earthquake damage to them, I thought about what might be the smallest and cheapest possible change to make them earthquake proof. The idea is that people can keep using the most abundant building material they have, which seems quarrystones, and the techniques they learned for using it. The problem with these houses is lateral cohesion of the walls (I even saw walls split lengthwise, one half still standing …). Vertical cohesion is thankfully managed by gravity, so we are not having to deal with the full weight of the stones here.

So the idea that I’m currently cooking in my head is quarrystone walls that are made by filling in wire cages with the stones, in orderly self-supporting stacks like now of course. The wire cages would have a lot of wire for cross-connections between the wire mesh on both sides, and need strong connections where walls meet. About the wire I’m not sure yet, it could be either plastic-coated chain-link fence (good against permanent humidity exposure) or something like 4 mm rebar wire (available in loose bundles in Nepal, I’ve heard they make wire mesh mats for concrete reinforcement from that on site). Like some of the quarrystone houses, the construction can optionally be plastered over to finish it. Some design adaptations might be needed like triangular support walls on the outside.

I think I should create a longer proposal for public feedback for this once I’m more clear about the idea, but any comments on this early stage are more than welcome.

(BTW, don’t care about the text size problems, you have more important things to do atm … I fixed it in your post. It happens mostly when moving text around by copy&paste or copying formatted text from a website in. There’s a button looking like “Tx” in the editor that fixes this by removing all formatting of selected text.)

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Thoughts are always welcome

But I’ll still take a shot from the hip at it. You said: “The problem with these houses is lateral cohesion of the walls (I even saw walls split lengthwise, one half still standing …)”.

Perhaps this is right but I am reminded of the little anecdote where Allies were trying to figure out how to tweak their bombers to increase their survivability. Well, the ones that made it into their data-set were the ones with minor damage to the wings and tanks. So they drew the conclusion to armor the wings more. They should have armored the engines though (but those rarely survived to make it into their data-set).

Perhaps the failure mode you saw (cracks running in top-to-bottom direction, if I got that right) is the benign one that you WANT to achieve more often. Because it has a chance to dissipate the energy without buckling and collapsing in a more catastrophic way?

My other thought is that probably a major factor is the orientation of the wall vs the most critical seismic movements. If the quake pushes it from the side it just falls over, if the quake pushes along the wall it translates into very large shear stresses that get dissipated through top-to-bottom cracks and perhaps partial collapse. I dunno. These things are really nasty problems I think (especially buckling of complex structures with complex load spectra). Here is something that’ll give you an idea - but I think you have better things to do than to read it now. One thing I’d like to get to you people would be this little thesis but I can’t access it myself just now. The idea being that the advisor was heavily involved in the relief effort after the Haiti earthquake, here + here and it is likely that if one picks up the trail via google scholar there’d be some useful material.

Rebar can do a lot of things [edit: found much smarter people], but my direction would be to use quarry stones on the lower parts and perhaps hemp/straw reinforced dirt on the higher levels, perhaps combined with an internal bamboo cage/frame that makes sure no big lumps of the stuff can fall on people in the structure. Ideally the failure mode would be the quarry-stone base widening slightly in a controlled manner while the upper part of the wall would be progressively pulverized and “melts” into/over the widened base without big chunks coming down all at once. The roof would be supported on the bamboo until that would eventually tilt over and drop the load in a direction that is relatively safe. That’s the dream anyway. Another aspect is how repairable the whole thing is if you accumulate minor damage over wear and tear & little quakes over the decades.

to trythis

I am really appreciating the sheer INTELLIGENCE of this entire conversation!

My own interest in the superadobe came from this event: CLICK HERE

This success in the Nepal Earthquake got me really excited that there is already a system that would solve the whole problem!!

I was in touch with Vinay Gupta, the inventor of the hexayurt right after the Jure Landslide in the same area we work, and I ran into a mess of Nepali earthquake prevention building regulations that prevented us from using that method to help people rebuild. But if superadobe has already been done (built in Nepal) and successfully survived such a serious earthquake, its aftershocks, and the second quake… I think it may be unnecessary to re-invent what has already been done successfully.

With that said, I am still open to any and all suggestions.



Another resource Holcim Foundation

Holcim is a very large manufacturer of construction materials. I assume they know what they are talking about (especially if they aren’t selling anything in the process). The slideshow will give you an idea of what it could look like. I could get in touch with them and see if they have some teaching resources you could distribute, or workshop you could help organize. Ideally someone would tell me what format would presumably make most sense so I can push in that direction. Here is what it probably looks like:

Ha, managed to find the full set I believe! Uhh, it comes with further reading as well. :slight_smile:

Perhaps someone wants to say thanks and ask him [tom.schacher attt adhoc.ch] if he could send the metric version (I assume Nepal runs on SI) and maybe comment on specifics re Nepal that he can think of? Do record the things he says so you don’t forget stuff or there are misunderstandings. I guess it won’t hurt if you can get a few people on translating this into Nepali already. If you eventually get an editable version from Tom it’ll just be a few clicks and it’d be ready to roll.

Found some more:

National Info Center for EQ Eng, India, resources in various languages.

http://www.confinedmasonry.org/ - nice.

More confined masonry practices, I assume if you team up a moderately technical person with 1-2 young people they could assist the pros who could be teaching in traveling workshops in rural areas. Videos are often a good way to break you into a subject EERI has a channel. If you need more pros you can mine the names of these people here (see links at bottom of page). If they are the ones you’re looking for they probably jump at the chance of getting more hands on. Lastly, if these compact discs should still exist, they sure shouldn’t be gathering dust. :slight_smile:


I appreciate your ideas… And also your help on my text size problem. I had a really hard time getting the text and the photos to not have huge white areas between them.

Your ideas about the stones in the wire cages intrigues me… a sort of a variation on the superadobe. I will look forward to your more complete description.


He looks like your guy

Naveed Ahmad is one of the authors I turned up following the Holcim lead. He has a somewhat related paper online here, but I think he probably also has more “hands-on slides”. It looks like he is into collaboration as well, and apparently makes good use of modern media.

I appreciate the connection

You’ve been great, trythis!

I will look into it.



Hey @Community_Service_of_Nepal, I just wondered if you could give me a brief feedback on my suggestions. I expect many of them to be hard or impossible to follow-up on in the situation. And I am actually mostly interested in hearing what got stuck, or fell through cracks how - so I can be more effective next time. I am sure you are doing meaningful work nonetheless, and I don’t want to keep you from it. There is no hurry to do it now, but I’d be happy if you just take a few “mental notes” for now. You can also msg me through my contact.

preliminary answer

Hi trythis,

I was just telling myself lastnight that I need to update you on how things have gone on following your suggestions and to update everyone on what we are doing.

I will get that done later today. I am personally in a nursing home in the USA after a total knee replacement surgery, so between recovering from that and trying to help with the Nepal situation as much as I can, I don’t always get to everything as quickly as I would like.

I will have a complete answer with photos later today/



More Complete Reply

Hi Trythis,

I typed up a big response to you, with photos, when the whole thing disappeared before I could post it - TWICE!!!

Here goes my third try…At the moment, most of our efforts are focused on getting temporary shelter to the over 900 completely homeless households in the Dhuskun community. Experience has shown that tents and lean-tos made of tarpaulins simply blow away during the monsoon thunderstorms that have begun to hit with increasing frequency. We followed your lead on potential sources of Corrugated Galvanized Iron (CGI) sheets, as well as lighter plastic versions of corrugated roofing sheets, and we were offered a wonderful price by a company in Fushan, China, who wanted to help the victims of the earthquake disaster. However, The company in China did not want to take responsibility for shipping the roofing sheets into Nepal due to the chaotic conditions and damaged roadways there. In the end, after looking into shipping and weighing in the time needed for delivery as well as the cost, we decided to go with a local supplier of metal CGI sheets. (We will go with the Chinese supplier as soon as shipping becomes feasable. Maybe in the permanent shelter phase of recovery. We were able to purchase 60 bundles of 12 sheets, which is enough for about 60 shelters. Unfortunately, that leaves 800 families in the same community sitting under the sky in the heat and the thunderstorms. Here are photos of some of the people we have not yet been able to help.

In response to your suggestions about the more permanent housing methods for after the immediate crisis is over… we are still leaning heavily toward the Superadobe method, since it has already been successful at surviving the major earthquakes in Nepal, and involves extremely few building materials. Your point about field rock being their most abundant building resource gave me pause… Maybe it is difficult to dig up dirt that is not full of rocks there. More research is needed to make sure that such a dirt-rock mixture can be used in superadobe construction. The Tencate suggestion seems like a valuable lead.

We had tried to implement hexayurts after the Jure landslide disaster, but ran into the problem of complying with the stringent anti earthquake building regulations in Nepal. We had an engineer volunteering to modify the hexayurt design to make it earthquake-proof, but that did not go anywhere. Kind of ironic.

Anyway, in the meanwhile, people in the Dhuskun area of Sindhulpachok are getting food aid and some tarpaulins from a group of nonprofits.Unfortunately, the tarpaulins have been blowing away in the monsoon thunderstorms. Madhav has been helping to distribute the aid. Here are two photos from that endeavor.

Today, a group of Nepali nonprofits have assembled with the CGI sheets from Communtiy Service of Nepal and 100 building experts, to take the CGI sheets and incorporate them into shelter for the chosen 60 families of the community. Photos will follow. That does, however, leave 800 families without shelter.

If you would like to help us provide the CGI sheets needed to make durable temporary shelters for these people, please send your donations directly to the Community Service of Nepal bank account in Nepal. Here is the information:

Sunrise Bank Limited, Taukhel, Godavari, Lalitpur, Nepal,

Account name: Community Service of Nepal,

Account number: 03610275443011


The big new problem we are encountering is that our source of donations from the USA has completely dried up since the Nepal earthquake is no longer anywhere on the news. Any help or ideas with fundraising would be a great help at this time. I sent emails to the Boards of Directors of the steel manufacturers, highlighting the pr angle. We are writing letters to celebrities, governments, businesses, anyone we can think of, but so far no offers of help have come in, except for the roofing manufacturer in Fushan, China. I was not even able to get a quote from DHL on shipping the roofing materials into Nepal, however. I have learned from past experience that there are only a few companies that can ship reliably into Nepal. I sent Madhav a camera last year, and it disappeared out of the mail service before it got there.


Thanks so much for the feedback!

I am really sorry this took away so much of your time (I just hate losing a post in submission). Also, I hope all goes well with the new knee!

I have to be careful not to wear down my teeth too much when reading how the situation is. I really don’t know how to begin. My impression is that there are so many things aggravating the situation it’ll be a long, hard, and steep road to work up for the people there. The earthquake(s) could have been much more devastating, but still any bit of damage in Nepal goes right into the substance of what the people have to survive on, while time is not on their side. And it’ll be really hard to quickly fix anything from the outside, working through the constricted bottleneck of logistics - with the unnecessary bureaucratic issues heaped on top. All the time media interest is dwindling quickly. Perhaps you’ll find more of an open ear at UPS and FedEx than DHL (honestly, I am not surprised they weren’t very helpful). The logistics to rural Nepal are probably on par with lifting something to low earth orbit and just dropping it there. I do understand the Chinese manufacturer playing it safe. I know some people in intermodal freight and that location must be challenging on a good day - now it looks like you need a whole different set of skills and connections

Regarding the tarpaulins - yeah I expect they are pretty frustrating to live under if you are not just doing some fair weather camping. Still, if there is enough cordage they should be better than nothing, and are relatively easy to get to the places that have an immediate need. There are many videos on how to tie them down effectively - which may help if that is not something the local know already. Of course the CGI is what you really want - but it’ll need more time I am sure.

Regarding the @hexayurt I would be interested to piggyback in case Vinay has some time to look into the matter more closely. If I know what the typical hold-ups are in detail, I can help much more effectively. Unfortunately it smells a bit like mental lethargy that they wouldn’t jump on the topic. Even if they were only up for a couple of months - there’s a good chance they’d have dragged in a lot of support (and donations) in their wake. Ah well, such is life. Small steps.

Superadobe should also work with some rocks at least. It seems to have the charm that you don’t need a very specialized workforce to get going on it either - which seems to be an advantage compared to the Holcim foundation approach (perhaps that would make more sense later in the reconstruction effort). If I can think of other things to help I’ll holler. Thanks for your detailed reply! It is much appreciated.

Construction of Shelters in Sindhulpachok

I have finally got back the photos from the construction of shelters in Dhuskun, Sindhulpachok.

Last weekend, a force of 100 volunteer builders converged with the 60 bundles of corrugated galvanized iron (CGI) that Community Service of Nepal was able to provide so far. They built shelters for the neediest members of the community, as selected by the village leadership. Unfortunately, that leaves 850 households without help so far, but we are actively working on securing the funds for the CGI needed to build shelters for them, as well.