Nepal earthquake news update 27th May

CAN’s FUNDRAISING

CAN’s Nepal Earthquake Appeal has now reached over £300,000.

Thank you to everyone who has supported the Appeal either by directly donating or by organising a fundraising event. The numbers supporting the Appeal have meant we are a little behind in acknowledging all the fundraisers via letter, email and on this website. We will endeavour to thank everyone…..eventually!

This is an impressive achievement, but much more fundraising needs to be done. Doug Scott estimates that at least £1million will be needed just to rebuild damaged schools, health posts, and other community buildings. A further £1million will be needed to support communities to rebuild their livelihoods, economies, and social infrastructure.

CAN has been operating in Nepal for 20 years, so has the financial mechanisms in place in Nepal and the UK to ensure money donated is used very directly and effectively, without passing through layers of bureaucracy.

CONCERNS OVER AID TO NEPAL

Unfortunately concerns over the effectiveness of sending aid to Nepal continue.

The Nepalese Government has issued a directive that only aid on their ‘approved list’ will be allowed into Nepal. This has recently led to four chartered planes carrying aid being refused landing permits. Some aid organisations sending the immediate relief aid urgently needed, such as shelter and cooking supplies, are therefore being forced to suspend their aid deliveries to Nepal.

Thankfully this ‘obstruction’ to aid does not apply to monies donated to CAN’s Appeal due to CAN’s existing financial arrangements discussed above. This means that CAN funds do not pass through  Government  Departments, but directly to those communities in need.

Obstructions to mainstream aid is particularly concerning given that a United Nations coordinator in Nepal has recently reported a massive shortfall in aid being given. The UN appealed for $423 million to provide up to 2 million displaced earthquake survivors with basic tents, shelter, food, drinking water and sanitation. To date only $92million has been raised – just 22% of what is needed.

The UN warned that once the heavy monsoon rains start (July to September) the delivery of relief supplies will be made even more difficult as further landslides could block paths and roads to remote villages.

CAN ‘EARTHQUAKE RECCE TEAM’ IN HELAMBU

The first ‘CAN Earthquake Recce Team’ left Kathmandu on 24th May. It included Doctor Richard Parkin, CAN nurse Nirmala, David Webber from Shelterbox and CAN supporter Lizzy Hawker who will visit Kutumsang, Milareppa and Melamchiguan. The team will give immediate help and assistance and make assessments of the communities future needs.

LANGTANG RECOVERY PROGRAMME

The village of Langtang and much of the surrounding valley was particularly badly affected by the earthquake.

A number of organisations and charities have supported Langtang in the past, including CAN, US based Rasuwa Relief, the Himalayan Trust, Langtang Valley Health and the Australian Himalayan Foundation. These organisations are currently in joint discussions to ensure a coordinated and well thought out relief and rebuilding response.

CAN’s Temba Lama (from Langtang) has suggested that any rebuilding of the main Langtang settlement might best be done at Ghora Tabela, which is less prone to avalanche damage. Rasuwa Relief are already speaking with experts in the geomorphology of Langtang and with structural engineers. This will ensure any rebuilding will be safely sited and built using methods giving greater earthquake resistance, but still being practical in remote mountain areas.

REPORT FROM NORTH GORKHA

(by CAN’s Tej Tamang and Anil Bhandari)

CAN received a damage report on May 24th which highlighted that in the Bihi, Prok and Lho areas 90% of all buildings have been damaged. Damage has occurred to schools, health posts, homes, telephone systems and toilet blocks. The road from Arughat to North Gorkha is completely destroyed which is causing enormous problems to communities and relief efforts.

MELAMCHIGAUN REBUILDING PLANNING

Although it will still be some time before rebuilding works begin, the success of CAN’s Appeal means that villagers can now begin the morale boosting job of planning for rebuilding their communities reassured that funds are available.

Melamchigaun villagers are now beginning this process with CAN and other charities and supporters of Melamchi. CAN’s experience in construction means it is likely to lead on rebuilding. As always clear agreements will be made between Village Committees and CAN, in this case to ensure buildings are constructed using ‘earthquake proof’ techniques as much as possible.

BAHRABISE REGIONAL SCHOOL FOR DEAF CHILDREN – impact of the second quake

Bahrabise village, the bridge across the Bohte Kosi and Bahrabise School were further damaged in the second earthquake. Severe structural damage to the school means it will require demolishing. This is very sad news for its pupils, who were resident at the school, staying in the recently completed hostels.

It is hoped to open a temporary school nearby as soon as possible.

COMMUNICATION and SATELLITE PHONES

Communication within Nepal continues to be very difficult with both landline and mobile telephone networks badly affected. To make CAN’s relief work more efficient CAN plans to purchase satellite phones. Better communication between remote areas and our Kathmandu office will speed up CAN’s response to the needs of mountain communities.

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