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Jun 11
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Demolition in Jyekundo, Shedra Construction Resumes at Surmang

By Lyndon Comstock

Jyekundo, post-earthquake, is now the blue city, as Khenpo calls it, due to the thousands of government issued tents. As of June, all of the population still living in the city are residing in tents. In this picture, one can see that razing of this residential neighborhood in Jyekundo is underway, with many buildings already completely cleared away.

Ongoing Relief Efforts

The Surmang team is now back at Dutsi Til most of the time. However, they are bringing another 15,000 pounds of barley flour from Xining into Jyekundo this week for distribution. Additionally, some families that did not previously receive financial aid, including one extended family that lost 13 people in the earthquake, have recently been given financial support.

Reports about the rebuilding plans for Jyekundo continue to shift week by week. Some residents will have to give up their present home sites and relocate to a different part of Jyekundo because of plans for road widening, and for a new park and market. News reports indicate that many residents were upset due to fear that their home sites would be taken for government buildings; it is unclear so far as to whether or not that will actually happen. The manner in which residential homes will be rebuilt is not yet clear either, with concern expressed about reported plans to build very small (800 square foot) houses for large Tibetan families. Even those families who have somewhere else to go are trying to keep some family members in the city to keep track of the rebuilding situation.

Concrete mixing in front of the lhakang. June 2010.

Concrete mixing in front of the lhakang. June 2010.

Surmang Shedra

Construction resumed on the Surmang shedra in the past two weeks. Approximately 16 Chinese construction workers and 25 Tibetans have been at work on the flooring in the lhakang (shrine hall and classroom building) and on various masonry details. The solar heating piping has now been laid on both the first and second floors of the lhakang and the concrete sub-flooring poured.

Hauling freshly mixed concrete into the lhakang for the subflooring. In the background, masonry work taking place on the roof of the shedra front gate. June 2010.

Hauling freshly mixed concrete into the lhakang for the subflooring. In the background, masonry work taking place on the roof of the shedra front gate. June 2010.

It has not been a problem so far to purchase building materials in Xining, however the cost of both building materials and labor has been increasing rapidly. It’s expected to go up again once rebuilding starts in Jyekundo. Khenpo reports that it is already nearly impossible to find electricians.

The Surmang team is trying to complete as much as possible of the remaining shedra construction, other than painting and furnishings, this summer. More funds will be needed soon to keep the construction going.

To contribute to the shedra summer construction season, visit www.konchok.org.

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2 responses to “ Demolition in Jyekundo, Shedra Construction Resumes at Surmang ”
  1. Thank you for the update. I cannot fathom how it would feel to have your whole property crumble, deal with the loss of family members, have to live in a blue tent, and just wait for reconstruction. These are a tough people!

  2. Linda V. Lewis
    Jun 11, 2010
    Reply

    Thank you for the update. It is wonderful to see how the work at Surmang is progressing against so many obstacles. But Jyekundo still seems a sorry site. At least there are these blue tents, but I also understood that it snowed there recently! What hardships the people there must be suffering. I hope the funds keep coming in to supply them with barley, etc.


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