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Friend of SKLPC (UK) Navin Prasad has just returned from Nepal where he was aiding with rescue and relief efforts. Below is his report on what he witnessed. Its’s not too late to donate and help Nepal: https://mydonate.bt.com/events/sklpcnepalappeal/224593

I spent almost 12 days in Nepal since earthquake struck on the 25th of April 2015. I went independently without any organizations association but once I reached Kathmandu, I got lot of opportunity to serve the victims by being part of various foreign rescue teams and even had chance of volunteering with smaller local organizations in distribution of relief materials to the affected people.
The first 10 days after the earthquake, rescue operations were going on in full swing to save lives if any who were struck under the debris. Finally, on the 8th of May 2015 the rescue operations were called off by the Govt. And all the foreign agencies involve in rescue were asked to end rescue operations.

The city of Kathmandu looks very deserted, as most of the people who lived in Kathmandu (over 70%) lived in a rented accommodation. Some of them died due to the earthquake and the remaining left for their respective hometown (Bihar, Uttar Pradesh etc.).

Most of the building destroyed were old building and structures which were build during the reign of Rana Dynasty which ruled Nepal till the year 1951.
During my stay, I experienced earthquake of low intensity almost twice or thrice everyday and Yesterday too the earthquake with intensity of 7.3 on the Richter scale shook Nepal and parts of Northern India once again causing loss of life and property. Over 60 people have been reported dead in Nepal and over 20 of them in Bihar. I was in Bihar yesterday but was safe and finally managed reaching Delhi today.

I am writing a report which will give you a fair idea of things on the ground and future activities which can be considered for temporary & permanent rehabilitation. I had the opportunity to work with charity named WE FOR CHANGE who were actively involved in rescue and relief work in five worst affected districts. They had over 50 volunteers who were at work day and night serving the distressed.

Introduction:
A powerful 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on 25 April, with the epicenter in Lamjung District (north-west) of Kathmandu.

Government reports confirm that 30 out of 75 districts in the country have been affected in the Western and Central Regions, including Kathmandu Valley districts. This includes mountain and hilly areas, in areas where rural populations are dispersed, as well as some very densely populated districts and Nepal’s two largest cities – greater Kathmandu and Pokhara.

The worst affected districts include Kathmandu, Sindulpalchowk, Kavre, Nuwakot, Rasuwa, Dolakha in the CR and Kaski, Gorkha, Lamjung in the western region.

Crisis Management:
Rescue: The rescue team from 34 different countries was engaged after the mega earthquake hit the Kathmandu and surroundings districts in April 25, 2015. The rescue team which includes Nepal Army and Nepal Armed Police also joined hand with the international team of expert rescuer. They were successful rescuing almost 1500 alive victims from the rubble of the houses from different districts. It has already been two weeks since the earthquake hits claiming lives of almost 8500 people. Now govt has send almost all rescue team since the chances of live bodies is in no more hope.

Relief:
Parallel efforts on distributing immediate relief is still going on with lots of demands on food and tents or shelter for the victims from remote villages from the hardest hit districts. Gorkha, Dhading, Rasuwa, Kavrapalanchowk and Kathmandu were the most hit districts with the 7.9 Richter scale earthquake that had struck Nepal after 80 years. This devastating moment was words less to describe. Various govt. and non govt.
agencies are supplying immediate relief materials such as medicines , food grains, clothes , tarpaulins and health kits for special needs such as women and children. But due to lack of proper coordination between the authorities and volunteers on the ground, relief materials are not properly being distributed among the needy and vulnerable. But still efforts were on to reach to the maximum victims. Dalits, Childrens with special need, elderly women and disable youths are among them. These categories of people are undermined during the distribution of relief materials and they need immediate attention. We for Change has been working to distribute some immediate and post relief works in these districts especially Kathmandu – Sankhu, Kavarepalanchowk- Thorakpa VDC, Rashuwa- Laheapipal VDC, Dhanding- Baireni VDC, Gorkha- Arughat Bazar. We for Change has deployed almost 50 volunteers in these districts for need assessment, Relief packages distribution, trauma counselling and dealing with children to build Children Safe Place ( CSP). They have already distributed immediate relief materials to these villages from their own efforts and some supports from personal contacts. They have also formed a Disaster response Volunteer committee, from where all the volunteers are managed and the relief materials distributed.

Reconstruction:
With the monsoon season beginning in June, providing emergency shelter to affected communities in remote and hard to reach areas is a priority. For the immediate response, high quality tarpaulins, tools and household items (including blankets) are needed. As of 8 May (18:00, UTC+5:45), the Government confirmed an increase in the total numbers to 288,798 houses destroyed and 254,112 damaged. In Gorkha District Headquarters, electricity and water supplies are available and the market is functional. However, access to rural areas in the district remains difficult. Aftershocks continue, with two strong quakes recorded on 6 May causing additional landslides in rural areas, including in Laprak, Gunda and Lapu. In Laprak, humanitarian partners reported a lack of shelter, food, water and medicines. Some villages in northern Gorkha are reachable only by foot trails; thus, the need to strengthen partnership with local trekking and porter associations to reach remote areas. During the initial days of the response, the Nepalese Army search and rescue teams evacuated over 2,400 people from remote areas to Kathmandu and Pokhara. To support logistics and the overall relief efforts, the army is also mobilizing some 10,000 troops to be deployed in all Village Development Committees (VDCs) in 16 districts. To date, over 13,500 patients have been treated and 98 surgeries were performed by foreign military teams. In Gorkha, there is now an increasing number of people seeking ways to return to their villages and looking for temporary shelters.

Some recent data from UNOCHA Website:
10% 288,798 69,900 950,000
funded houses destroyed tarpaulins distributed children require
education support

Source: Financial Tracking Service; Government of Nepal – NDRR Portal; Shelter and Education clusters; UN Disas

The current need according to the OCHA country report and updates on post earthquake programs, Nepal needs serious attention from the international agencies on reconstructing and rehabilitating the victims to stop from the further vulnerability. Some of the updates are as follows.
Situation Update report as of May 07, 2015 on needs of the victims is also described below.
Camp Coordination and Camp Management
Needs:

.As of 7 May, 128 displacement sites were assessed. An estimated 41,000 people are

homeless in the Kathmandu Valley as per the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM).
DTM is a cluster tool used to assess sectoral needs in camps.
Large camps and spontaneous sites must be properly managed and living conditions there improved. Incidents of sexual violence in displacement camps were reported.

Needs:
72 Village VDC offices were destroyed and 97 VDC offices damaged. Immediate support is required to the non- functional VDC offices to enable implementation of early recovery activities.
Education
Needs:

At least 950,000 children in Nepal will not be able to return to school, unless urgent

action is taken to assess schools in the affected districts and provide temporary
learning spaces where schools are destroyed.
The government, teachers unions and cluster partners noted the need for psychosocial support for both students and teachers as schools plan to reopen.
24,000 classrooms were damaged or destroyed.
Many others schools suffered further damage in subsequent aftershocks.
In the severely-affected districts of Gorkh, Sindhupalchowk and Nuwakot, more than 90 percent of schools have been destroyed.
Around 80 percent of school buildings have collapsed in dhading.
In some areas, including Kathmandu and Bhaktapur, approximately nine in ten surviving school buildings have been used as emergency shelters.
Food Security
Needs:
Over 3.5 million people are estimated to be in need of food assistance. Of them, an estimated 1.4 million most affected people have been prioritized for immediate food assistance.

14.7 metric tons of food and shelter
Of the 2,966 metric tons (MT) of food distributed to date, some 273 MT were distributed in the last two days.
An additional 14 MT of high energy biscuits were also distributed.
Health
Needs:

A total of 240 primary health care centres and health posts were destroyed and 347

damaged in 14 districts.
Three district hospitals were destroyed in Nuwakot, Rasuwa and Ramechhap

districts.
Nutrition
Needs:

• 168,000 mother of children (0 to 23 months old) require breastfeeding support.

• An estimated 126,000 children (6 to 23 months old) require nutritious food.

• 70,000 children (6 to 59 months old) with moderate acute malnutrition require
delivered in 12 districts
supplementary food and approximately 15,000 children (6 to 59 months old) with

severe acute malnutrition require therapeutic feeding.
•362,000 children (6 to 59 months old) and 185,000 women require micronutrients.
200,000 children (6 to 23 months) and pregnant and lactating women require blanket supplementary feeding programme.

Rehabilitation: According to the need of the community, Center for Social Change will work towards providing and setting up the facilities for the victims in the mostly affected villages.

Location: Gorkha- 1 VDC; Dhading- 1 VDC; Sindhupalchowk – 1 VDC; Kathmandu- 1 Municipal; Nuwakot- 1 VDC

Period : 2 years from the start of the project

Proposed activities:
Sewa School : Center for Social Change will reconstruct for the partially damaged school in the project location and build new schools where the building is fully collapsed for the victims family. The school will serves all the space that is needed for the children to come out from trauma. The school teachers will be trained from the physo-social counsellor on dealing gently the post quake cases from the children. This school will also be used as Child Friendly Space.

Women Sewa Center: This center will be established in the project districts and villages where the widow and left out women from disaster will get skill based training. They will learn the survival and enterpeurnal skills conducted by the skilled trainers. This center will also work as the temporary shelters for women in need.

Sewa HOUSES: There will be 2000 houses called Sewa houses which will be build in the five districts. This shelters will be temporary shelters for the victims and a makeshift for the time being. Corrugated sheets, local bamboos and woods will be used to shelter one family during monsoon. This is the immediate need of the project districts.
Thank you !!!
NAVIN PRASAD

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