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Solu-Khumbu and Helambu, Nepal. Earthquake Appeal

  • Nepal Update 2016 #1 General Info

      22 March 2016

    Hi All

    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.

    Moving forward

    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.

    Kind regards,

    Mal Haskins

    IFMGA / NZMGA Mountain and Ski Guide

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  • Helambu Relief Distribution Centre Field Report

      12 May 2015
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    From the 28th to the 30th of April a small group of volunteers came up with a plan to get food, medical aid and shelter directly to regions that were the furthest away from Kathmandu, the hardest hit and the ones most likely to take the longest for large aid agencies and government assistance to reach.

    The initial deployment consisted of 13 people which included Nepalese doctors, trekking guides, cooking staff, drivers and a mixture of international and Nepali volunateers. The drive to our base at Timbu, the base of the Helambu Valley system had a series of unknown factors, which included not evening knowing if we could get there. On the journey in our trucks were raided by small groups of desparate Nepalese and supplies and tents were taken. We also saw that aid was beginning to slowly move out from the Kathmandu Valley but very very slowly.

    Arriving on the ground we were confronted by a range of challenges including establishing a working relationship with the local people.

    We have now been on the ground in TImbu for 12 days and to date have been effective in distributing Aid, Shelter and Medical Support across the region to some of the more remote villages and communities.

    We have had moving mobile medical teams travelling for up to 3 days to give medical aid to the those in need or over looked by the initial evacuation of the injured by helicopter.

    Our ability to deliver shelter aid has been restricted by the availability of supply and sufficient cash flow.

    As a group we have been both horrified and amazed at the plight of the Nepali People, the conditions that they face and their strength, endurance and compassion for each other and those around them.

    With the approaching monsoon we need to consider the safety of our team on the ground and our ability to get out safely ourselves. We have been trying to get building materials and supplies to the Helambu Region to assist the people there to help themselves in the coming months and years of rebuilding.

    Whilst we are still here now we will, in the near future need to leave as the monsoon rains begin and the roads start to be cut off again by landslides. Already today there was evidence of more landslide activity.

    The funds we have received have gone towards the costs of aid and medical needs as well as the transportation costs to get everything to Timbu - as well as eventually out. We have also started a report to look at the feasibility of the local schools and will be giving these reports to the agencies that built them for their information and use in evaluating the eventual rebuild. Any funds left over from our ground operation here will be put towards the rebuild of essential services for the region such as schools, medical aid posts etc. We have yet to identify which areas we will focus on but this will be done in conjunction with the local groups from the region. The assistance we will be providing will be finiancial.

    Our medical records also indicate that we have treated over 300 people at the medical station we established. the aid here was for injuries that have ranged from minor to serious and from before, during and after the earthquake.

    To date we have spent nearly $35,000 USD

    An enormous thank you to everybody who has so far contributed to helping us give some aid to the people of Nepal.

    The Timbu Aid Team

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  • Field Operations

      7 May 2015
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    Over the last 5 days we have been able to distribute aid to as many of the more remote villages as we have made contact with and who have been able to come to us.

    We now have a team of 20 volunteers in our base at Timbu which includes doctors, paramedics, Nepalese trekking guides and local people. Back at Boudhanath Base our admin team has just been given some much needed assistance.

    We are spending your donations on





    Food (Rice / Dhal / Spices)

    Sanitary items

    Personal Hygiene

    In the near futture we are hoping to get a shipment of 1000 Tarpaulins and starting to plan for rebuilding supplies - with the first thing being steel roofing - this will allow the villagers to build structures that will be more resistant to the monsoon that is rapidly approaching

    From the Field Team, Base Operations and most importantly the Local Villagers - THANK YOU VERY VERY MUCH

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  • 1st May - team on their way

      2 May 2015
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    A very long and quite stressful day this morning. After a night punctuated by some decent tremors we were up at 5:30 am to sort last minute gear and load the jeeps. At around 7am we heard news of some quite serious looting and rioting along the route we were taking. There were unconfirmed stories of attacks by desperate locals and theft of supplies. So we made the call to stand down and send a reconnaissance team of two jeeps with minimal to check out the route. Thankfully the situation seemed to have settled down and we remobilized the team after lunch.

    It is now 7:30 pm and our 15 strong team is getting closer and closer to their goal. Unfortunately they lost some of their supplies to looters along the way but they are safe and have managed to move beyond the town of Melamchi and should be very close to their goal of Timbu in the Helambu district.

    Thank you everyone for your support - it is thanks to all the people that have donated that we have been able to purchase all of the much needed supplies - we have food, clothing, shelter and medical supplies and are currently readying the next load to go up tomorrow morning.

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  • 5am Boudhanath 29th April

      29 April 2015
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    Grey morning here. Planes roaring in overhead from 4 am. Hopefully today we will be able to either get supplies and logistics moving from some of the aid agencies or the local markets will be open and we can start to purchase items to start to send towards the mountain regions.

    We have another meeting with the Red Cross and hopefully contact with MSF today.

    I was sent this image link yesterday. Its show a 4 km wide swath of destruction across what was the villages of Langtang, Sindu, Mundo and a few others

    They are all gone - wiped off the face of the earth with an unknown number of people - but certainly more than 200

    My wife Sophie and I has been walking through here 2 days before the quakw struck. The village was located under Lirung Langtang a 7220m peak

    Its hard to fully grasp the scale of this disaster

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  • 28th April 2pm

      28 April 2015

    Thanks for the overwhelming amount of support shown so far!

    Soph and I are on the way to the Red Cross to try to get supplies.

    Our reccy this morning came up against a major hurdle to get to the Helambu region. The road is well and truly blocked

    A group of 14 locals from Helambu will be trying to get a load of supplies in by foot tomorrow Our other option will be to try and make use of a Helicopter. Whilst one of the families sons is a helicopter pilot he has been kept busy ferrying the injured out from the Ghorka Region

    The focus is starting to shift from the Everest Region slowly ....

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  • 27th April 2015 - Boudhhanath

      28 April 2015
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    Thanks for the support shown so far for our aid efforts. The family, Soph and I have been sitting down tonight making plans for the following days.

    Tomoro we are heading out to buy Tarps, Medical Supplies and some dry foods as well as shovels for our first trip up towards the Helambu Region.

    Reports coming in over the news are confirming the fears that the mountain regions and villages have been the worst effected. We will keep you upto date with our efforts

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