Habitat for Humanity China to rebuild homes in quake-hit Qionglai city in Sichuan

by Heron Holloway | @HeronHolloway | Habitat for Humanity International
Monday, 20 May 2013 08:54 GMT

Wang Xing Wiong stands inside her damaged home in Maping village, Tiantaishan town, Qionglai city. Photo courtesy of Andy Chong / Habitat for Humanity China

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Bangkok, 20th May 2013 – Habitat for Humanity China, part of international non-government housing organization Habitat for Humanity, today announced that it will support families in Qionglai city affected by the recent Sichuan earthquake. It will help them rebuild homes in Maping village in Tiantaishan town and Jingkou village in Gaohe town, as part of its ‘Sichuan Post-Earthquake Rebuilding Projects’.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with families who lost their homes and family members. Many of those affected are low-income farmers in urgent need of safe, permanent shelter, and without the means to rebuild on their own. Habitat will start its rebuilding operations as soon as possible so families can fulfill their dreams of a decent place to live”, said Kester Yim, Managing Director of Habitat for Humanity China.

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Both Tiantaishan and Gaohe towns are located only five kilometers from the epicenter of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck on Saturday April 20. The quake is estimated to have caused Qionglai city an economic loss of RMB 2.8 billion, with 129,000 people affected and many homeless – 316 farmhouses collapsed, 6,585 were severely damaged and more than 25,600 partially damaged – according to government figures.

Habitat for Humanity China staff based in Chengdu and Hong Kong have visited affected areas to assess the damage and met with Deng Wei, Vice Mayor of Qionglai Municipal People’s Government and other local government bureaus to formulate long-term rebuilding plans. The team also visited Maping and Jingkou villages, both very badly affected by the earthquake and where families are currently living in temporary shelters and urgently need to rebuild their homes.

Local government statistics estimate that in Maping village, home to 330 families, 22 houses were totally destroyed and 123 severely damaged, while in Jingkou village, home to 676 families, 44 houses were completely razed to the ground and 255 badly damaged. With support from the local government, Habitat for Humanity China will initiate its rebuilding projects at these two sites.

On 25 April 2013, Habitat for Humanity launched an appeal to help families affected by the Sichuan earthquake. The ‘Sichuan Post-Earthquake Rebuilding Fund’ will enable Habitat for Humanity China to directly provide affected families with grants for rebuilding. Regular monitoring will be conducted by Habitat staff and financial transactions inspected by an external Hong Kong auditor.

CapitaLand Hope Foundation (China) and other corporations, such as Credit Suisse and Colliers International, have expressed interest to support Habitat for Humanity China’s ‘Sichuan Post-Earthquake Rebuilding Fund’ and launch employee-giving schemes.

To increase public awareness and generate funds, Habitat for Humanity China will organize a series of fundraising activities and charity events that will take place over the coming weeks and months.