It has been a week since the devastating earthquake struck Nepal and over 6,000 lives have been lost with 14,000 injured and thousands still unaccounted for. When we heard the dreadful news seven days ago, our thoughts went straight to the villagers in the remote rural areas. How ever would they survive this disaster? As you have seen on the news many village homes have been damaged. The houses are simply built using local stone without foundations, often on hillsides.
Over the last week Ram and his team have visited many villages offering financial support to those in need. The money will pay for labour and materials. Monsoon season is nearly here and if their homes aren’t rebuilt soon they risk being washed away or irreparably damaged. We have also learnt that many other villages are cut off and unsupported. So much aid is arriving in Nepal yet it’s being held up at Kathmandu airport or just not getting to those who need it in the rural areas.
We have been overwhelmed by your generous support and we can’t thank you enough. But raising money is only half the journey and we have experienced many difficulties throughout the week. The initial problem was getting money to Nepal as the banks have been closed due to national holidays and only limited ATM funds were allowed to be withdrawn, even this Monday is a national holiday.
Now the country faces new political problems as Community Support and Non Government Charities have been halted after the Nepal Finance Ministry stated all donations will be diverted through a central-government relief fund. They say this is a fairer way to divide the money but it has just resulted in unnecessary delays. Our Nepali friends predicted this would happen. Fortunately we managed to send money across before this was imposed so we can carry on with our support work without delay.
Tomorrow our team will visit Gumda in Gorkha district located a day’s drive from Pokhara. The whole place has been reduced to rubble and they haven’t had much contact with aid agencies or Government Charities due to their location. Ram will bring food, blankets and other supplies to the people here. Our plan is to invite some families to temporarily relocate in the Lwang Ghalel district, where Ram lives, as here there are more than 10 empty homes and with your money we can help with their transportation and relocation costs.
The villagers from Lwang Ghalel who we have helped so far have been overwhelmed with happiness to learn that strangers in other countries have offered help.
Thank you again for your support. We will keep going.