Impact in Nepal: Six weeks later
05 June 2015
Thanks to your support, Medair had an emergency response team in Nepal within 48 hours of the earthquake. Read on to find out how your gifts have helped thousands of families in Nepal.
Our team quickly joined Mission East Nepal and other established partners in the country to bring life-saving relief to the areas of greatest need. Overcoming significant logistical challenges, we trekked into mountainous Sindhupalchowk district, the most severely damaged region in Nepal, to deliver emergency shelter kits and essential household items to people in unreached villages.
“Most of their houses were collapsed and people had been sleeping in makeshift shelters and tents, using wood, tin pieces, and fabric as protection from the cold and rain,” said Nathalie Fauveau, Medair relief worker.
Seeing that immediate shelter from the rain and cold was an urgent need, our teams quickly started distributing emergency items – including strong tarpaulins, rope, water treatment tablets, jerry cans, and soap. By the end of May, we had provided items to more than 15,000 isolated people.
While distributing relief items, we spoke with grieving survivors who had lost their homes, livelihoods, and even loved ones. Yet the simple act of showing up and bringing items they could use to recover made a real impact. “You are the only ones who have distributed shelter here, when it is the thing we need most,” said Parbati, mother of two.
“These tarpaulins are going to save lives, because families need waterproof shelter to get them through the next few months,” says Rita McIntyre, Shelter Advisor. “If they don’t have protection from the elements, people could develop illnesses as the monsoon season approaches and torrential rain starts.”
Medair showed families how to tie the tarpaulins using rope to make their self-built shelters watertight. Some families have chosen to save their tarps to use during monsoon season when the need for safe, dry shelter is essential, while others have begun using them right away. Our teams are now returning to each village to see how the families are coping and ask about additional shelter needs.
“Thankfully, not everyone will need every item in the kit straight away,” said Wendy van Amerongen, Medair relief worker. “But for those who lost a source of safe drinking water or soap, the items in this kit can prevent dangerous health problems that often arise in the wake of disasters.”
“It’s now rescue and relief, and hopefully we can soon go to phase two: recovery,” said Sher Bahadur Tamang, Member of Parliament for Sindhupalchowk. “We are very satisfied with how Medair is collaborating with Mission East. It’s also very encouraging for our people to see that other people are helping them from all over the world.”
With your continued support, Medair and Mission East are now aiming to reach nearly 50,000 vulnerable people with shelter. We will also provide safe water and hygiene support. As monsoon season approaches and brings storms and the danger of landslides, we know we must urgently reach those who haven’t yet been helped.
“What people really need more than anything else is shelter,” said Shia Rom Shrestha, community leader in Gati Village, one of the villages Medair will be assisting next. “We can survive without food assistance, but we can’t survive without tarps. That is what we need most. We are so grateful that Medair and Mission East will be distributing them.”
Thank you for standing with the people of Nepal in their time of need.