“This is the kind of gesture that says a lot about the companies and people working in today’s hemp industry,” said Nivedita Shah, SHIV’s co-founder along with her husband, Dhiraj K. Shah. “It will give a family much needed shelter,” Mrs. Shah said of the Dusseldorf-based firms’ contribution.
Some 600,000 houses and public buildings were destroyed in last year’s massive earthquake in Nepal, which has left many Nepalese living in harsh conditions with little or no shelter. By using locally available raw materials and by employing local labor, SHIV is able to build the four-room dwellings for $5,000 each.
Setting a spark to project
“SHIV’s work in Nepal is commendable. We feel a particular responsibility, and take a lot of satisfaction in supporting this initiative,” said hemp veteran Daniel Kruse, a principle in HempConsult and Managing Director of sister firm Hempro. “We hope others will follow us in supporting Nivedita and Dhiraj in their important work to provide shelter and much needed public buildings to the victims of the 2015 earthquake.”
In addition to the financial contribution, HempConsult and Hempro will work with SHIV and HempToday on a broader campaign to start later this month aimed at raising additional funds for more hempcrete homes in Nepal.
One of Europe’s leading hemp advisories, HempConsult has a global client roster of established hemp players. But the company also works with and encourages hemp startups, to which it provides a complex range of services for all aspects of starting hemp businesses.
Sister company Hempro Int. is a leading European producer and wholesaler across an entire range of hemp food (mainly bulk raw materials), textiles, accessories and cosmetics. Both firms are based in Dusseldorf.
SHIV’s fast startup
Kathmandu-based SHIV, started just one year ago, has quickly established itself in construction, hemp-oil based consumer products, and finished hemp-based textile accessories. The company works with local farmers, processors and manufacturers to deliver hemp products by exploiting Nepal’s abundant “wild crop” — uncultivated, naturally occurring hemp fields — providing jobs and spurring local economic development in the poorer regions of Nepal.
The centerpiece of the young company’s construction efforts so far has been a waiting room and four staff rooms for a hospital at Janakpur under the direction of hemp building veteran Steve Allin, Director of the Ireland-based International Hemp Building Association. The company has now moved into the startup phase of a wide-scale project to build as many homes as possible.