Owing to several generous donations, included those given by students ot the Altkönigschule Kronberg and their parents, we have been able to create a repair program for roofs and huts or houses of the poorest families in the Kumbu-Kasthali VDC. These families normally cannot afford the costs of repair. In the past, they often had to mortgage the little land they owned or to work for their creditors for years in order to pay their debts. If they were not able to work and too poor to get any credit, they had to live in their decaying houses or in shanty huts.
Roofs often are the weak spots. If the thatched or shingled roofs are damaged by heavy monsoon rain or storms,the beams of the roof timbering as well as the clay walls are affected by the damp, thus developing fungi and risking to collapse. Missing shingles provide another target for the wind, and in the next storm the damage is getting worse. As there is no point in putting a new roof on top of a substructure that is all but collapsing, we have agreed to our partners` recommendation to include house repairs in our program. In extreme cases, shanty huts may even be replaced by a small stone house.
Meantime, more than 30 families have been helped by this program. Requests for assistance are usually adressed to our local partners who ascertain the neediness of the applicants and send photos of the houses or huts before, after and during the repair works. Sometimes, the applications are forwarded during our visits to the project area. In this case, we ourselves can have a look to the houses or huts to be repaired.