Nepal, which is wedged between the two rapidly growing major powers
of China and India, would have everything in and of itself to become
a prosperous country. It has the great water reserves of the Himalayas
available as its resource, whilst thoroughly planned ecotourism could
help the Nepalese prosper. However, because of the political instability
that is continuing to dominate the country, foreign companies are not
exactly inclined to invest. The Prime Minister Oli is currently doing
his best to improve the relationship with India, and is trying to make
his country financially attractive, knowing that the great neighbour
suffering from extreme drought has a great interest in the water potential
of the Himalayan State.
With all these resources, the water shortage remains the biggest problem
of the Nepalese, especially in the Kathmandu Valley and in the Plains.
In the village of MUDHKU, where we built Earthquake-proof houses for
20 families after the great catastrophe of the 2015, the 350 residents
have to walk two kilometres through the hills to get to a watering point.
This water comes through an already existing sewer directly from a remote
3 kilometre forest source. The strong plastic pipes that would be necessary
to connect the village to this pipe cost €5000, and the Mudhku
residents simply do not have that money. Using cement pipes would more
than triple the cost and would also be pointless, because the earth's
layers are constantly shifting due to the frequent small earthquakes
causing the springs to relocate. The government is once again not ready
to make its contribution.
Like most Nepalese, the inhabitants of Mudhku love religious rituals,
where they offer the gods their sacrifice in the form of flowers, fruit
and incense, and hope for a better life. This time the gods must have
been particularly gracious, because one of our long-standing generous
donors has already agreed to bear the cost of the water pipes. In the
20 newly built houses, twenty families will finally be able to use their
small bathroom and wash their laundry at home.
Because of the hostility that we have been experiencing for some time
regarding our work in the slum of THAPATHALI, a meeting was held there
by our employees Muna and Sushma with the ' Slum Committee '. The people
in charge could not provide an explanation for the unpleasant atmosphere
in this settlement, but promised that the slum dwellers would show up
cooperatively in the future instead of making our work difficult through
their unfriendliness. They also ostentatiously argued that if we were
to pay the school fees for their children instead of wasting the money
on the expensive milk porridge, we could use our money better.
The fact that this nutritious milk porridge with its vitamins and minerals
is essential for a good mental and physical development of its little
ones is of little interest to the parents. The main thing you feel proud
of is when you see your sweet offspring neat in their expensive uniforms
every morning, even if the little ones are malnourished with two plates
of rice during the day and have little chance of a glorious future.
We already carry the school fees for 300 children of our project, and
not all residents of Thapathali are so terribly poor that they could
not pay these fees themselves. The government is now in the process
of registering the inhabitants of all Slums. Thapathali would have to
be relocated first, because five years ago the state used bulldozers
to destroy the fixed accommodations that the inhabitants had built.
Even before the earthquake of 2015, new accommodations had been built
for them, which were recently renovated after the Catastrophe. According
to the representatives of the state, only the families who earn no more
than €350 a year are to be described as needy and officially recognized
as slum dwellers. An incredibly ridiculous sum, considering that hardly
any family in Nepal could survive with so little money!
Theoretically, all other slum dwellers would soon have to leave the
banks of the Bagmati River. The whole of the inhabitants, however, refuses
to give up their miserable living conditions: the flats of this new
settlement are too small, too far away from the town centre, and besides,
they would have to pay rent, they say.
On the other hand, the poor people who live near these new buildings
are revolting and want to move in. The following will be most likely
to happen: officials will start to register the people, but it can be
assumed that this resettlement project will not be carried out for a
The slum of BANSHIGAT remains our flagship slum: due to the influence
of our years of work, the settlement is now cleaner than other slums,
and most of the dwellings are built with solid materials. Our kindergarten,
literacy class and health post give the visitor a good picture of what
we do in KATHMANDU.
But even though the Banshigat inhabitants have developed well, their
moral conception differs completely from ours: as in other slums too,
those who have long since occupied a small piece of land here have,
in recent times, still built more rooms to rent them to victims of earthquakes
and avalanches for a lot of money. Every small room houses six to seven
People. To occupy public land and look at it as one's own, we, Europeans,
would regard as illegal. But to use this land to enrich oneself through
the bitter fate of others, many of us would call immoral. When we say
this to the slum dwellers, they look at us completely stunned and uncomprehending.
Our 'MAUTE' nomads, who actually no longer qualify as such, even though
they still live under tents close to Kathmandu's airport, remain satisfied
and cheerful. They can barely breathe in the dust and fumes of the busy
road where they are directly located, but they don't even notice it.
They are constantly affected by kerosene particles as machines are starting
and landing machines, and if we ask them to look for a better bearing
for the benefit of their children, they say we should not worry, as
all this does not disturb them and belongs to life.
Another suddenly emerged Maute clan is running a pig farm next door,
so that bad smells and bacteria make the lives of people there as unhygienic
as possible. This, however, does not disturb our 'friends' joy in life.
They appreciate our support, and the women do not forget to provide
their little ones with our milk porridge every day, because they now
understand how important this is for their children. It's actually amazing
how unsusceptible they are to diseases, as if their living conditions
were the best vaccines in the world!
Many thanks to you all who continue to support the work of the children's
help Nepal in Kathmandu and Mudhku faithfully! The donation receipts
for this year will be sent to you in December.