The earthquakes that struck Nepal on 25th April and 12th May, 2014 had especially devastating consequences in the Gorkha district. The epicenter of the first was directly between the villages of Barpak and Laprak leading to almost total destruction of all houses, schools and animal shelters. Laprak village was badly damaged, with the majority of the houses totally collapsing. It is not possible to rebuild the village due to the instability of the earth beneath and possibility of ongoing landslides. The village has relocated 600m further up the mountain. The villagers are living in temporary accommodation which consists of tarpaulins stretched over wooden and bamboo frames. They are vulnerable to the extreme weather conditions that routinely affect the area – monsoon rains, winter snow and searing heat in the dry season.
ESIMT's first priority is to support those Lapraki engaged in the tourism industry. Many of the young men are employed as guides, assistants and porters in various areas of Nepal. Six Lapraki guides and porters were killed during the first earthquake; some of the bodies have still not been recovered. As the main source of income for Laprak is via tourism this creates financial difficulties for not only the families of those killed, but also for those who now find themselves with little work due to the lack of tourists now visiting Nepal. We are providing shelter and warmth to those in need and promoting awareness of good health practices to avoid the spread of diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera, fever, as well as respiratory ailments.