Below is a letter from Temba Lama, Lhakpa Tamang Jangba, and other members of the Langtang Management and Reconstruction Committee who are leading the Langtang Community in rebuilding efforts. This provides some good detail on the current thinking about reconstruction, the scale of reconstruction (126 families need new homes) and the relevant issues with government and resettlement etc.
Also, if you are a person or an organization working to support the Langtang Community (formal NGOs, crowdfunding campaigns, etc) or you know someone who is, please share this document and add your information to this list.
Letter from Langtang Management and Reconstruction Committee:
“Unifying and coordinating efforts to reconstruct Langtang
We, survivors of Langtang have had meetings during June and May and have talked to many associations and NGO’s that are helping us. We have talked about many things, many projects, but the main is how to reconstruct Langtang. This an enormous and very difficult task and we need a lot of help.
We have drafted a first document of how we would like to do this (we attach PDF), but we depend a lot on the government’s help, particularly regarding a new site to reconstruct the village, respecting the size of land that each family had. The reason is that the area of the old settlement has been rejected and the valley is a natural park (construction can’t take place anywhere).
We have calculated that 126 families need new homes and the costs will be approximately 30,000 euros per house as the costs of transporting materials up to 4,000 meters have to be added to the costs of workforce and building materials.
Furthermore, the paths and hanging bridges that give access to the different villages of the valley of Langtang also have to be restored. Although the government is talking about a plan to restore the routes of Langtang valley in 2 years (see news article in this TAAN web page), many of us doubt it as there is no approved plan and it might just remain as a proposal if we don’t pressure the Government.
We also want to ask the government to donate part of the fees it has charged tourists during the last 10 years for visiting Langtang valley. We think they should share the benefits with us to use them directly for the reconstruction.
We are waiting for a response to our petitions on behalf of the Nepali government, as for the moment we can’t do anything because it has forbidden access to Langtang claiming it is too dangerous and it cannot be held responsible for whatever happens. However, 40 villagers have already gone up to Langtang to start to restore paths, build refuges for their animals etc. Most are very worried and believe the government is not going to help them and is even going to declare the area as a catastrophe zone and prohibit access to their land.
The government has announced that Langtang valley is inhabitable, projecting a wrong image to the world. Only a few kilometers are destroyed and wide areas of the valley are safe and very beautiful. The geological study should be done in the whole area in order to increase people’s trust. The government should do all it can to raise awareness on the fact that the valley can be visited again and promote tourism, which is so important to our economy. The full support of the government is very important to us, so that the valley can rise again for the February 2016 season.
For this enormous task we need the help of all NGO’s, associations and organizations that are searching for funds for Langtang.
No matter how, we want to start this project after the rains end at the end of September.
We understand that every organization has its projects or can support the projects it wishes or can even support one particular family, but until people don’t have their homes and fields to survive, the rest cannot be achieved.
We can talk about future projects to build a school so that children don’t have to study somewhere else far away from their parents, or a hospital to have medical care nearby, or build a monastery so that people can celebrate the parties and funerals and maintain their Tibetan culture. We can also repair the small hydropower plant to recover energy for the area, build greenhouses so there are fresh vegetables and they don’t have to get them from the valley or create textile workshops so that women can gain independence….
All this is fine, they are great ideas, but if people don’t have homes, what’s the point?
That is why we ask you to unite strengths and coordinate to manage this enormous task.
– We would like that a representative of each association comes to each of the meetings to give us ideas a disseminate what we have talked about. We will send e-mails to whoever is interested, but it is important that you send this information to whoever can help us.
– We would love that all foreigners who have visited the Langtang valley or wish to visit to do so, write to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Nepal to ask for the fast recovery of Langtang Valley:
Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil AviationSingha Durbar, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel.: 977-1-4211992, 4211669, 4211846, 4211847, 4211711, 4211685, 4211825, 4231196, 4211909
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Department of Tourism Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu
Tel.: 977-1-4247037, 4256228, 4256231, 4256232
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
– Once the reconstruction project starts we will need great economic support. If we all work together as transparently as possible we have more chances that the project succeeds.
– For the reconstruction we want to create a volunteer project so that anyone who wishes to do so, can come and help us, sharing with us much more than work and establishing links in the long term.
– We also need to think of the families who need medical care, can’t go to Langtang and need to stay near the hospitals in Kathmandu. For them we will need to rent houses and provide carers and cleaners as long as required.
– Besides all this, we have to say many people have collaborated with the project to sponsor children in Langtang. Thanks to them all children of Langtang are going to school and are guaranteed food, somewhere to sleep and education. This avoids parents worrying and helps them to start recovering their lives.
In the following link you will see a list of associations gathering funds for Langtang:
Please, if you know any that is not on the list, inform us so that we can send them this information.
Name of Campaigns
Langtang Village of Nepal Relief Fund
Rasuwa Earthquake Relief Fund
All Hands for Nepal
Sustainable Step Nepal: Rescue and Relief for Rural Nepal
Langtang Survivors Foundation
Nepal Earthquake- Rebuild Langtang
Sai Help Nepal: Shelter and Reconstruction in Langtang
Langtang Disaster Relief Fund
Nepal 4 Relief
Help Sydney and Bailey in Nepal
Fund Relief Work – Langtang, Nepal
Rescued in Langtang
Tsering Lama & Family from Langtang Nepal
The Langtang Nepal Karma Fund
Help Langtang Valley
Raise a Village
With best regards,
Langtang Management and Reconstruction Committee
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org