27th October 2020

Light at the end of the tunnel: Khagi’s story

Earlier this year we told you the story of Khagi Thapa, the widow of a Gurkha who fell victim to 2019’s significantly devastating monsoon flooding and landslides.

When we met her back in February, she spoke of how the memories still haunt her:

“It had been raining since 4pm the previous day. The rain was so heavy the villagers were saying they had not seen the rains like this in 90 years. I decided to sleep at my cousin’s house that night.”

“The following morning, I went out and saw that my house had slid about a hundred metres down from where it was. My heart sunk, I didn’t know what to do. I cried a lot.”

Khagi lost everything that night. But the hardship didn’t stop there. Following her husband’s death the previous year, the widow had leant on her extended family for support. On the night of the landslide, tragedy was to strike their family again.

We posted this video on our Facebook page in August 2019:

“We lost my brother-in-law that day. The landslide had swept away part of the cowshed in her house, and fearing it would affect their house people started fleeing and during that commotion, he suffered a heart attack and died.”

Lockdown delays

We were desperate to get Khagi into her new home as soon as we possibly could. However, when 2020’s lockdown laws came to Nepal, we put the safety of both Khagi and our staff first to protect them from COVID-19.

Hundreds of our projects, including Khagi’s home, were halted at the end of March. Lockdown restrictions were particularly difficult for Khagi’s house as it is in a remote area of Nepal’s Gulmi District, making it near-impossible to transport construction materials

Light at the end of the tunnel

Despite the delay in construction, Khagi has been able to start her new life in her earthquake-resilient home. We were delighted to deliver the news to Khagi that we were able to move her into her new home.

“I am very happy. The house is very nice.”

“ I can’t keep continuing staying at other’s houses. I can live the rest of my life peacefully there.”

“I can only say thank you.”

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