One month after Nepal earthquake: “People have lost their houses, but they have not lost their hope”
Kathmandu, 22 May 2015. One month after the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal on 25 April, providing safe emergency shelter for the upcoming monsoon ensure remains one of the most pressing needs. “We have a very short window to provide communities with roofs over their heads before the rain starts. With the Nepali people’s resilience and effortless work to rebuild their homes, we think it’s doable. But it’s a race against time,” says Lex Kassenberg, Country Director for CARE Nepal. In the coming days, families will be provided with material essential for longer-term housing, such as corrugated iron sheeting.
“A mother in Gorkha whose house collapsed during the quake told me that people might have lost their houses, but they have not lost their hope. People ask us to advise and facilitate the reconstruction process to make sure to rebuild a safer and better Nepal. The road to recovery is long, but we see a strong sense of community and great resilience of the people,” says Kassenberg.
Some eight million people have been affected by the earthquake, with over 750,000 houses damaged or destroyed according to Government of Nepal figures. “We need to get more durable items to communities before the monsoon starts. Once the rains stop in August, this material will be reusable for rebuilding proper housing,” says Kassenberg. “Nepal experiences solidarity and support from all over the world. CARE translates this into effective assistance for people to get back on their feet.” Trainings on key safe construction techniques, information on how to build back safer through radio and other channels as well as the provision of building materials such as cement will be critical.
Within the first month, CARE has provided more than 23,000 people with food, emergency shelter and hygiene items in some of the hardest-hit areas such as Gorkha, Sindhupalchowk and Dhading. CARE continues to ramp up its relief efforts to help people recover from the deadliest disaster to hit the Himalayan country on record; killing more than 8,500 people.
Pregnant and lactating women - who are now living in temporary shelter and without proper access to healthcare and food - are at particular risk. CARE is distributing health kits that include essential medicines and supplies for birthing attendants to handle medical complications during delivery.
Reaching remote villages also remains a major challenge, one that will only increase with the impending onset of monsoon season and an increased risk of landslides and worsened access. CARE is already using 4x4 trucks and helicopters to deliver aid to cut off villages and setting up field tent sites to reach those most affected.
CARE has launched an appeal for $40 million to assist 100,000 people in some of the hardest-hit communities. To date, $12.8 million has been raised worldwide. The funds will provide emergency assistance to people affected by the disaster in Nepal, as well as support communities as they rebuild in the years to come.
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