Following the 7.9 magnitude earthquake in Nepal, there has occurred catastrophic destruction. People have lost everything, including family members, homes, and foodstuff. As of April 30, the death toll stands at 5,582. 11,175 have been injured, and 130,033 houses have been destroyed according to the Nepal Emergency Operations Center, but these numbers will grow.
In many districts, more than half of the homes have been completely destroyed, with animals crushed inside, along with precious belongings. The trapped livestock have vastly increased the possibility of pandemics breaking out. Food is limited, safe drinking water is scarce in many places, thousands are still sleeping in the open with very little or no shelter and sanitation conditions are dire. Such conditions contribute to water borne, vector borne, and zoonotic diseases, the risk heightened as the carcasses trapped in the rubble putrefy. Many of those buildings that are still standing cannot even be entered, but there is no availability of labor to help properly break down the structures to salvage necessary materials and remove waste. Frustrationand anguish is rising steeply, as people come to terms with just how much they have lost and just how agonizingly slow the response has been.
Sharada Lama, of Kavrepalanchowk (Kavre) district - the fire in her face and the anguish in her words - speaks for the nation https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=612682480
What has been so tragic about Nepal’s earthquake is that the poorest of the poor, those who did not have a placement house or much access to money or connections, were hurt the most. Many cement structures withstood the earthquake and even the 100 aftershocks without more than a crack, but most mud homes have been completely destroyed. Even this morning, we have felt powerful aftershocks in Nepal. People scream and run from their homes even now, days after the earthquake because they know that the cracked homes will soon fall. The reconstruction is not yet even on people’s minds.
We have seen literally more than 60 people living in a single 20 by 30 foot tent in Khal Chowk. We have seen fifteen people sleeping in the cowshed with buffaloes and goats in Kakrabari. People however are taking care of one another. We have been moved by the incredible tenderness people have shown to the elderly in particular and to the children. They are sleeping in groups together and sharing what little is left. They are keeping each other warm. The farmers are by no means helpless, but they cannot get back on their feet.
People are exhausted mentally and physically.
Hear Sanu Thapa Magar’s heartbreaking story about how Nepal’s earthquake shattered the lives of those living on economic fringes:
Kavrepalanchowk district (also called Kavre) is one of the hardest-hit districts of the huge Nepal earthquake on April 25. It is estimated that more than 30,000 households have been completely destroyed or damaged to be inhabited. It is estimated that around 150,000 people, half of the population of Kavre district have been rendered homeless by this crisis. The poorest farmers living in mud homes have been the hardest hit.
The Kavre Relief Effort is a volunteer group of individuals and professionals that have come together to initiate and organize relief effort in Kavre. The aim is to provide effective, rapid relief and to begin to think critically about the future steps.
We strongly feel the most critical need right now is tarps so that people are protected from rain and cold air. However, there is a massive crisis in the availability and delivery of these tarps. In many places, people urgently need medicine and basic food stuff. They need blankets and daily supplies. But everywhere we have gone, the most urgent need has been tarps as without them, large numbers of people are forced under small tents, vastly increasing the risk of pandemics.
There is no time to waste. Every minute increases the risk that disease will spread, that people will not be able to survive the monsoon. Beginning this Tuesday, hundreds of volunteers are coming together to undertake a push to deliver more than 20,000 tarps for Kavre district, which would reach more than 150,000 people who have been rendered homeless. Each tarp costs between 10 and 20 dollars, depending on the size and durability, and can provide rain protection for about 7-10 people comfortably. They can be procured regionally. While it is by no means a permanent solution, it provides an absolutely critical bridge to allow people to get back on their feet, to stay healthy and dry, until they can rebuild their lives. When asked what the most critical need is, people everywhere have been desperately crying out for tarps and do not understand why they have not yet been delivered. The cost of tarps has gone up so high that a huge number of people have no physical or financial access to them. For equitability and safety, it is critical to deliver a large number of tarps in a short period, or else there is a huge risk of conflict. Beyond this, blankets, medicines, hand soaps, sanitary pads, water purifiers, solar powered cell phone chargers and other supplies are also incredibly needed. Along with the tarps for each household, we are partnering with www.abari.org, to bring a medical camp to each village within the district.
We are asking those in a position to make a contribution to give as much as they can to the Phul Maya Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Vermont, USA. The Board has voted to fully support relief efforts in Nepal, including the short and long-term recovery.
PO Box 1169
Montpelier VT 05601-1169
You can contribute through our website to Phulmaya Foundation at www.kavreearthquake.org
This is definitely not to say Kavre was the only district hit or even the one which was worst affected in terms of loss of life or even physical damage. However, by focusing on a place we have already been working intensely and building contacts with the community, Government and leads these last few days, we feel we can make a huge difference.
Beginning on Tuesday, May 5th, we need 50-60 drivers per day, for 10 days, who can volunteer to drive their own four-wheel drive jeeps and SUVs to deliver materials to the most heavily hit regions of the district in a rapid blitz. We need a total of about 100 volunteers per day to drive, travel to the sites, document the work with video and photos, and keep contact with the field teams. Particularly if you can drive a vehicle from Kathmandu to Kavre district, please get in touch immediately with our procurement, transport and logistics head (contact Trilokesh Rana: Trilokesh@gmail.com).
In the meantime we are also planning to quickly distribute several hundred portable toilets which will each cost about $450. However, if we do not conduct this first phase and do it extremely fast, thousands of
people will die from illnesses.
Lots of resources will be needed and the danger is that in a few weeks Nepal’s earthquake will be forgotten. Even whatever we raise will likely be far from sufficient, but it will certainly save live. We will document how every dollar is spent, and the total numbers of families we reach. We will write a report at the end of all of this documenting exactly what was done.
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For more information on how to help, please get in touch with:
Rajeev Goyal (email@example.com), +977 9804091703
Priyanka Bista (firstname.lastname@example.org), + 1 516 858 4230
Navraj Pradhan (email@example.com ), +977 9808580068
Diplav Sapkota (firstname.lastname@example.org), +977 9801198615