By Kathleen Hendricks, Special to ASSIST News Service
KATHMANDU, NEPAL (ANS – May 19, 2015 — In the aftermath of the April 7.9 and the May 7.3 Nepal earthquakes, the Christian Nepalese community is filling in the gaps in disaster relief. Daily they have been delivering relief supplies to Kathmandu and remote villages in Gorkha and Dhading areas.
They are also assisting people in repairing their homes and providing 5-10 kg of rice per family, dahl, masala, salt and oil. Volunteers are being trained as well to assist in education, as most schools have collapsed in the most affected villages.
The Pokareli Christian community, near the epicenter of the first quake, consists of 45 churches, International Nepal Fellowship, SAGOL, Chimikee Nepal and Brand New Images International’s New Beginnings Project Nepal. Relief teams have been organizing the daily delivery of truckloads of food, tents etc. for over two weeks.
They are also bringing the seriously injured into Pokhara (city nearest the epicenter) for treatment. Many villagers now suffer from diseases due to the large number of corpses, both animals and humans, remaining under the rubble. The Christian community has been working with the government and hospitals to provide the needed medical support as well.
The Pokareli health team is providing crucial services, as some village people are suffering from rotting flesh from the first quake in April. Even hospitals in the area are without food and water for days and have 15 beds but over 100 patients. Pokareli social workers are also taking surveys of the hospitalized to determine the needs of the families in affected regions.
Raju Adhikari, director of the social work arm of Pokareli says,” Almost every day we deliver food and supplies to at least 1000 families in the most affected regions. Most of our supplies have assisted the people in Dhading and Gorkha areas, which are very large areas with many villages. We give to all people regardless of religious beliefs.”
Landslides block roads and many people died trapped in their vehicles for days without food and water, one being a police constable. In this region, there are only a few places for choppers to land so there have been a few food drops of noodles and crackers in remote areas. Aftershocks and landslides still terrorize the people in the Gorkha area.
Some pastors from Kathmandu have been traveling to remote villages in Dhading District, as many people there have yet to receive any relief. With the help of small NGOs such a Brand New Images International, New Beginnings Project, they are taking food, tents, blankets etc into these difficult to reach places. Others are uniting to rent trucks to bring the villagers out so they can survive. Sometimes the foodstuffs are slow to be distributed by the district offices and other times never reach the villages at all.
One pastor from Kathmandu received help from Brand New Images International, to feed his entire Dhading village for a few weeks until government relief arrives.
The death toll from the April 25 quake was over 8,500 with 15,000 injured. The second quake in May had a death toll of over one hundred and over 1,000 injured. Four hundred persons are reported missing and of that number 106 are foreigners. The Nepal Health Minister says that 39,000 people have been treated due to earthquake injures.
According to USAID $154 million USD has been committed, however only $31 million has come into Nepal. The flow is slow coming in and the distribution is slow going out to the people. Nearly 300,000 homes have been destroyed and an equal number damaged.
There is a huge disparity between supply and demand However Nepalese people are strong and resilient and say, “We will rebuilt and recover!”’
To continue giving aid to the victims, small NGOs like Brand New Images International, whose representatives have been in Nepal for many years and will continue to work there to rebuild the nation and save lives. Small NGOs such as BNI are able to deliver efficiently and quickly to save lives. For more information and or to donate, please click on the link below, highlight and copy and paste into your browser to view. www.youcaring.com/nonprofits/emergency-crisis-of-himalayan-mt-girls-/300578
Photo captions: 1) Small NGO distributes food to all in village by census. (Photo: Brand New Images). 2) Loading truck for food delivery to remote village. (Photo: Brand New Images).
Sources: Himalayan Times Newspapers (May 6, 2015) and Himalayan Times (May 16, 2015).
Kathleen Hendricks is a freelance independent journalist living in SE Asia. She is also a member of the International Press Association.
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