I wanted to put this picture up to show the dramatic differences between a "mohalla" (settlement) and a "mauza" (village). The entire photo shows a SINGLE village---Basantkot (as an aside, the village is named after a Sikh woman who used to live here before partition and means "the home of spring"). This is the largest village in the area. The way the road goes, it leads directly to the big pink house in the main settlement, and a consistent complaint is that more relief goes into this settlement compared to the other. We tried to see whether people in one settlement knew the others, and they do not. So for instance, starting from the right corner, people in Lavanseri could name the people in Jabarseri (the abandoned settlement in another photo), but no one else could. These village structures are leading to 2 problems--first, we are embroiled in a nightmare trying to sort out geo-locations of villages, since we have different readings at different points from different sources, and we have no way of knowing from the data that settlement "Jabarseri" is part of mauza "Basantkot". Second, and perhaps more critically, relief agencies in the area where we were would visit the main settlement. We consistently find that this is not enough, both for information and equitable targeting of relief.
One of the tasks in the near future is further compensation for housing damage, which may require further verification of structural collapse. A hard job at best, this picture suggests that the task may be harder given the way people have used material from damaged houses during the winter. The picture shows a small area that contained FOUR structures prior to the earthquake (I had gone in December, when these were clearly marked). The debris from these had been cleared up and stacked, and a lot of the wood had already been used for fuel and warmth. The circle on the left shows the debris from 2 structures, the one in the middle from a 3rd, and incredibly, the 3 pieces of wood in the right circle a fourth (the pile was much larger in December). The two intact structures were constructed AFTER the earthquake to take families through the winter. At this point, figuring out how many structures there were is completely dependent on accurate answers from the people living there.