Nalang is a very rural community in the District of Dhading and although only 85km west from the capital Kathmandu it can take as much as 4 ½ hours travel time and during the monsoon months some times the roads are impassible.
The population of Nalang itself, and the immediate vicinity, is approximately 11,000 living in around 2,200 houses. Nalang is at an altitude of 1,500m which means that the climate is sub tropical. Like many such rural areas in Nepal approximately 90% of the adult population are either illiterate or very poorly educated which makes their efforts to improve educational facilities for their children particularly praiseworthy and is one of the reasons that The Yearley Trust is so happy to support and encourage their efforts. Another reason is that the community is keen to encourage education and equal opportunities for girls. Generally in Nepal girls are considered less important than boys. Their support for equal opportunities is a credit to the Community of Nalang.
The majority of the population are subsistence farmers and around 60% live below the poverty line. Generally the land is hilly which limits the type of crops that can be grown
The people of the district of Dhalang are primarily Bhramin and Chetri in the south and Tamang and Gurung in the north, with much of the centre Newari.
The mountain range “Ganesh” is the predominated mountain range located within the district of Dhading. All of the peaks are over 7,000 metres (23,000 ft) with some approaching 8,000 metres (26,000 ft). The 8,000-metre (26,000 ft) plus mountain “Manaslu” is clearly visible from much of Dhading
The school was built by the community in 2008 but was destroyed by the massive earthquake of 2015 which destroyed 600,000 buildings in Nepal and killed nearly 10,000 people. The epicentre for the earthquake was near Nalang and very many more people would have been killed except for the fact that most of them were outdoors tending their fields when the earthquake struck. It is estimated that the costs of the earthquake were equivalent to around 50% of Nepal’s GDP. (That is equivalent to £1.2 trillion for the UK)
Most of the building in Nalang that survived and still lived in are damaged. The community rebuilt the school with minimum disruption to the children but also needs help in repairing damaged housing.
Main crops grown are Rice, maize, millet on a large scale but not enough for the year. Also some vegetables, like Cauliflowers, cabbage, radish, potato, carrot, brinjal, bitter gourds local pears and some citrus fruits. Whilst for three months of the year the land is inundated by the monsoon rains the remaining months have very little rain so most of land is unused because of the lack of proper irrigation in the area. So Rain water harvesting may play vital roles for making irrigation in this land. If they have water supply for irrigation they could cultivate any crops easily and in many case get to crops a year from the land.
There are a few shops in the local area but have problems of supplies during the rainy season. There are some business people from the city who come to trade at the market The shops sell foods items, there is also a local hotel for the business people. There is a clothes shop, small veterinary, shop small electronic shop, and stationery shop.
There is no doctor in Nalang. The Trust is paying a qualified paramedic to provide emergency medical cover and it is hoped that the medical facilities for the community will be further improve soon. It is around 5 hours walk to the nearest hospital