ShelterBox response team members Becky Maynard and Nicola Hinds (both from the UK) have been assessing the need for aid in the remote villages of Nepal following last week’s deadly earthquake.
They travelled northwest from the capital of Kathmandu to get a better understanding of the level of destruction, what type of shelter would be needed and how best to transport it.
Becky described the difficult driving conditions to reach these communities: ‘The roads to this hard-to-reach area had only just been cleared of landslide debris, and even then were difficult to navigate. It was a dry day but in wet conditions it would be treacherous to any vehicles.’
In this video, fellow team member Nicola shows us the amount of destruction caused in the villages that they came across, where bricks and timber have cascaded down the mountainside and people have been living under nothing but plastic sheeting.
During the assessments, the ShelterBox volunteers travelled with the GEA Search and Rescue organisation from Turkey, who were distributing food and clean water, along with medics from Switzerland who were providing emergency medical assistance to people who had been injured by the quake.
Becky said: ‘Despite the tragedy of the situation this was the first time we had seen hope rather than fear in people. This was the first time that aid of any kind had reached the villages and just knowing that people were coming to them seemed to make all the difference.
‘I was so pleased to see the relief on people’s faces after days of wondering if help would ever come.’
ShelterBox has been distributing aid in Nepal, including providing tents to hospitals in Kathmandu that had been badly damaged by the quake and to temporary medical facilities in Sindhupalchok.
A further consignment of aid, including tents and shelter kits, has arrived in the country and will be distributed to families in the district of Sindhupalchok this week.
Wednesday 06 May 2015
Tents and adaptable shelter kits arrive in Nepal
Tents and adaptable shelter kits arrive in Nepal Just one of thousands of devastated homes in Nepal (Becky Maynard/ShelterBox)
ShelterBox’s logistics team, along with help from our response teams in Nepal, have worked around the clock to transport aid into Nepal. Despite major logistical challenges and a bottleneck at Nepal’s only international airport in Kathmandu, an initial 500 tents, along with 500 shelter kits have now arrived in the country to bring shelter to the thousands of communities torn apart by the massive earthquake.
While early reports suggest that around 600,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed, the full extent of the 7.8 magnitude quake that hit between the major cities of Pokhara and the capital of Kathmandu is yet to be revealed.
Our ShelterBox response teams are currently based in Kathmandu as well as in the district of Sindhupalchowk, where around 95% of buildings have been damaged or totally destroyed by the shock of the earthquake.
In Kathmandu and other urban areas, the main priority is to clear rubble, and to rebuild structures, while in rural and remote areas, whole villages have been totally devastated.
Nicola Hinds, who arrived in Nepal last week, said: ‘We have already heard that in the area of Gorkha, 90% of buildings have been destroyed and a further 5% have been partially destroyed. We believe that it will be a real challenge to reach all of these communities, but we will find a way because that's what ShelterBox does.'
As different types of aid are needed in different parts of the country, ShelterBox’s logistics team, based in Helston, UK, have decided to send 500 UN specification tents and 500 shelter kits from pre-positioned stocks in Dubai.
Families in remote areas, who have completely lost their homes, will be provided with tents, while shelter kits will be distributed to people living in urban areas.
The kits, which contain tarpaulins, rope and essential tools for building, can be used to help clear rubble, to make temporary shelters and to repair damaged homes.
Shane Revill, Supply Chain Manager, said: “By sending out a range of different aid, we are ensuring that we meet the needs of different communities. In rural areas, whole villages have been destroyed, so it is essential that families have shelter to protect them from the elements. In cities like Kathmandu, the contents of our shelter kits will help people to rebuild their homes while be able to stay close to their families and communities.’
Since the earthquake struck, our ShelterBox response team members have already distributed tents, which were prepositioned in the country, to hospitals in Nepal that had been badly damaged by the quake. They have also been working with other aid organisations to help deliver essential food and shelter to remote communities in Nepal's mountains.
ShelterBox will continue to send further aid to Nepal and is currently finalising partnerships with fellow aid agencies Handicap International (HI), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development, (ACTED), to ensure that we reach as many communities in need of shelter as possible.
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