Nepal: One Year Later
One year after the devastating 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal, the people of this small country have finally returned to the normal rhythms of life. Throughout the country, most of the ancient temples have been restored, roads and trails have been repaired, and tourists are now able to visit.
Nepalese families, however, are still struggling to rebuild their homes and communities. Local communities have not received all the help they need due to a slow bureaucratic process. The government established the National Reconstruction Authority, but it has only recently been staffed and although it has agreed to provide grants and loans to eligible victims of the earthquake, funds have not been distributed. People have mainly been relying on NGOs for aid in their recovery.
GeoEx believes that one of the benefits of tourism is supporting local economies, and sending travelers to Nepal puts money into the economy through the payment of local guides, restaurants, hotels, etcetera. We’re pleased that providing enriching experiences for GeoEx guests also supports the local community. Bart Jordans, one of GeoEx’s trip leaders, says: “It is extremely important that the trekking and tourism business starts to pick up again in order for the locals to have a chance to get back on track.”
Nepal is completely open now, and most of the earthquake damage has been repaired. Its people are ready and eager to welcome back visitors. If there was ever a time when a trip there meant more than just a vacation or a trekking adventure, it is now.
Here are on-the-ground updates from our longtime friends and colleagues in Nepal one year after the earthquake:
Most of the main sites in Patan, Bhaktapur, and Kathmandu Durbar Square have been repaired. Some monuments are slower to be restored, since they are old traditional buildings, temples, and artwork that require special craftsmen and specialists. But tourists are able explore freely and have much to see.
The main damage occurred near the trails in Phakding, where there was a landslide, at Toktok (the trail between Phakding and Namche) near the waterfall, and Machermo (on the trail to Gokyo Lake). After extensive work all the trails are now fully repaired.
Damages occurred to homes and lodges at varying levels in most villages in this area. Ninety percent of the damages were between Lukla and Namche at Toktok and the area west of Namche at Thame. At Monjo and Phakding, about 20–30 percent of the houses were damaged and in Namche about 10 percent of houses sustained damage. The Thyangboche Monastery and the lodges surrounding it suffered only light damage, as did Dingboche. After months of rebuilding and repairs, all the houses in the region are again restored and all lodges are back in operation. The rebuild is 100 percent complete.
Pokhara & the Annapurna Region
The western part of Nepal was not affected much by the earthquake.
Langang village was devastated by the earthquake and no longer provides a place for lodging, but most lodges just outside Langtang valley sustained less damage and have been repaired. The trails are now seeing trekkers hiking up to the head of the valley.
Manaslu & Tsum Valley
Manaslu and Tsum Valley sustained considerable damage, as they were directly north of the epicenter. The trails where landslides occurred have been repaired or diverted. Also, a new trail to circumvent some damaged sections has been built on the other side of the river. Trekking groups have been hiking up the route to Larkya La down to Marsyangdi.
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If you would like to support Nepal’s relief efforts, donations can be made through the GeoEx Foundation.