Building Hope …. Can We Do It?

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Last night we returned back to Kathmandu after our second visit to the village of Sihkar Besi. After our initial assessment we were able to take a lot more supplies this time and help a lot more people. But the story is still grim.

We hope this gives you more of an understanding of the work the NCRR team is doing.

Our experience working with the Tamang People (The ethnic group in the region) has been an overwhelming one. Although they have been profoundly affected due to the earthquake they are such thoughtful and caring people. While the NCRR team got to work the Tamang people did all they could to make us feel at home with what little they had left.

The sheer spirit of these people is an inspiration to us to continue helping them as much as we can, although their loss is overwhelming. It is very hard to comprehend what we are seeing visually and we have only scratched the surface in regard to how much aid these people need now and well into the future.

To date NO Government aid or assistance of any kind has reached this area. When we left yesterday a Bulldozer was at work clearing the debris caused by numerous landslides off the road. We hope when we return we will be able to drive straight to our base camp allowing us to be more efficient as currently we have to walk for some time to reach it.

Cyclist Roan Tamang, who was born in the region, is helping us coordinate with village development committees so that we are able to target areas that need it the most first and foremost. Without coordination from local committees we would be inundated with desperate people trying to take supplies causing utter chaos, making it practically impossible to assist. Now we can effectively distribute supplies.

During this aid operation we surveyed 9 villages in two VDC (Village Development Committee) zones. Our findings indicate that at least 99% of the houses in the area have been destroyed.

UNDER FURTHER INVESTIGATION WE FOUND THE FOLLOWING ISSUES

Shelter – 99% of the houses have been destroyed and are unsafe to live in.

Food – 80% of food supplies have been lost which will create a need for food support in the area for at least 6 months. 30% of livestock was also lost.

Medical – A lot of people (including the elderly and young children) who were in or around buildings have flesh wounds, with high risk of infection. We need to get a medical person and the right antibiotics out there ASAP.

Access – Road damage and landslides make it hard for us to reach the problem areas.

Khet Damage – A lot of the Khet (small plots of land used for growing wheat, rice and potatoes) have been damaged, while okay at the moment they will become very unstable in the approaching monsoon season.

Man Power – With most families still having to work in the field to secure their food source, there is little man power left to clean and rebuild.

The Harvest – The Fields are full of wheat ready for immediate harvest. The village man power is now focused on this urgent need to secure the vital food source and get it safely in storage.

WHAT IS OUR NEXT MOVE

Now we have a better picture of what is needed. We are re-stocking our supplies. We have secured two villages currently and will hit the third village with supplies tomorrow.

– Set up a base camp at the road head where we can keep a regular incoming of supplies.

– Get a doctor and medical supplies to base camp.

– Establishing our Base Camp as a resource centre for surrounding villages in need of aid and medical care alike.

– This afternoon we will send forward a scout team to assess the area and coordinate with the local people to prepare a name list ready for distribution when we return.

– Consult with building specialists so that we may educate the NCRR team in building hygienic lavatories and general buildings correctly.

We are so grateful for your support.

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