Harry helps out with project to rebuild Nepal school destroyed in earthquake


Prince Harry found himself "sleeping, eating and working" with volunteers from across the globe when he joined a disaster response charity rebuilding an earthquake destroyed school in Nepal.

Wearing a t-shirt, baseball cap and jeans the prince got stuck into hard manual labour as he and the other military veterans working with Team Rubicon UK helped the local residents lay the foundations of a classroom and build a new farm of solar panels to provide electricity.

The building is urgently needed as the monsoon season is fast approaching and 250 pupils are being taught in a temporary school made of poles, tarpaulins and tin after the devastating earthquake struck the country last April killing almost 9,000 and damaging almost a million houses and buildings.

Harry was pictured carrying corrugated iron roofing sheets over his head for the school, filling sacks with gravel for the building's foundations and pouring cement, and was photographed with another volunteer clearing wood for the solar panel site at the village of Lapubesi .

There were also lighter moments with images showing the royal interacting with the local children who seemed curious about their foreign visitors.

Harry's six-days of volunteering in Nepal came at the end of his official tour of the country and the work ended last week.

Becky Maynard, Team Rubicon UK's director of development, said about Harry's time with the volunteers: "It was very much hands on manual labour - sleeping, eating and working out there with the other vets. Getting very much stuck-in as one of the team."

The village of Lapubesi, located in the centre of Nepal, was close to the epicentre of the  earthquake which completely devastated the local community.

It has a population of 3,000 people and 95% of their homes were destroyed by the natural disaster, with 16 people in the community losing their lives and over 150 were injured.

Team Rubicon UK uses the skills and experiences of military veterans in the aftermath of natural disasters and among the British volunteers were helpers from Canada, America, Australia and Germany.

They also used their skills to lay the groundwork for the final repairs to a hydro-electric turbine that had provided energy to around 300 homes in the village before it was destroyed.

Working on the edge of a waterfall on steep terrain, the team removed piles of rocks and boulders from water channels, and cleared and repaired the pump house containing the turbine and control systems.

The villagers hope to clear the final landslide over the coming month that will allow the turbine to run again.

David Wiseman, a Team Rubicon UK volunteer, said: "The work was physically demanding but it was great to be working together with other veterans in a tight knit team and this was a fantastic opportunity for us to work alongside the people of Lapubesi. I hope the school we have helped to build will serve this community for years to come."