A massive voluntary response was seen after the earthquake in which 9,000 people lost their lives and over a half a million homes were destroyed. In that situation everyone wanted to stay with their family and loved ones. But as an architect, I wanted to be involved in the response and recovery work. Thus, I applied to work as a UN Volunteer and provide technical assistance to disaster affected areas.
At first, it was difficult to adjust living far from my family and I was in fear of aftershocks. But when I reached the fields where basic services were damaged and started interacting with the local people, I realized their needs had even multiplied due to the earthquake.
Through the project, I provide technical and financial assistance so that local people could reconstruct the damaged infrastructures, such as micro hydro buildings, irrigation canal, irrigation ponds, rural roads, trail routes and drinking water schemes.
We provide the designs of the different structures and carry out on-site inspection and supervision of the construction activities. We also support the implementation partner in the preparation of drawings, estimate, bill of quantities(BOQ), reports, case studies and so forth. Although the time and budget was tight, people actively volunteered in the work and completed the schemes.
Reaching out to people kept me motivated to continue working in the difficult situation. I am very happy that I became the key worker in rebuilding the communities and restoring people’s lives back to normal after the devastating earthquake.
This story was previously published on 20 August by the UNV Regional Office: Asia and the Pacific
About the Author
Architect Prajina Karmacharya is serving as a UN Volunteer with UNDP’s Community Infrastructure and Livelihood Recovery Programme