Nepal Update 2016 #1 General Info 22 March 2016
It has almost 12 months since the devastating earthquake in Nepal. Despite the incredible efforts of many individuals and organisations, the situation for many Nepalese people in remote areas has not improved. It has been a while since we updated our supporters on our work in Nepal with regards to the earthquake. This doesn't mean that we have not been busy over there.
Since I last wrote there have been many developments and changes in the earthquake relief landscape in Nepal. Firstly the larger local and international NGO's are now firmly on thew ground which has meant that the initial first response emergency work we were doing is no longer needed - nor was this sustainable in the long term.
Sophie Ward went back last year to help with the World Food Program's Remote Access Operation in the Gorkha region, the epicenter of the first earthquake. The program delivered food and aid materials via porters and mules to remote communities that were cut off from other means of help due to landslides and the high cost of helicopters. Sophie was able to find paid work for a number of our Nepali friends who volunteered with us in the Helambu area who were struggling with limited trekking work opportunities after the earthquake.
The political landscape has also been shifting in Nepal - which is not really anything new - you may have heard of the blockade on the Indian border that effectively cut of fuel and medical supplies to Nepal? This has now been resolved - or at least the blockade has been lifted - the underlying reason behind why this occurred have been less likely to be resolved. You may also have read that the government is yet to spend any of the $US 4bn of relief funds that was donated by other countries. The plight of hundred of thousands of Nepalese affected by the earthquake remains very dire. The good news is that the Reconstruction Authority has been appointed - time will tell how they manage the funds available to them but we an only hope that it is done in an efficient and transparent fashion.
On our front we have still been working alongside a few of our Sherpa friends who are Trekking and Mountain Guides. They have been coming to us with information about remote towns and communities or low caste families that have not had any help thus far. We have sent money directly to our Sherpa friends who have purchased building materials, tools, food and other aid items to help them through the harsh Nepali Winter.
I am heading back to Nepal in April to investigate some school rebuilding programs that are occurring through HELP (Helambu Education and Livelihood Partnership ). We met the director of HELP (Jimmy Lama) during the EQ crisis. HELP has been responsible for building many schools in the Sindupalchowk district and have a MOU with the govt to rebuild 15 of their schools. The Helambu region where we were operating immediately after the EQ is a small area in the Sindupalchowk district, which was one of the most heavily earthquake effected regions. Currently HELP has 8 schools being rebuilt with the need to fund a further 7.
In the near future I will update the Givealittle page with some more information about these building designs and the schools that I will be looking at.
I will also meet up with our good friends at Karma Flights (based in Pokhara and operating in the Gorkha district) to do some hands on work there for a few weeks.
None of the work we have done would have been possible without your support. If you felt able to contribute again I can assure you that 100% of your donation will go directly to those most affected by the devastating earthquakes of 2015.
You can stay in touch on our facebook page or share the link to our donations page directly if you wish.
IFMGA / NZMGA Mountain and Ski Guide