Nepal Update News 4th May

Photos of CAN supported villages affected by the earthquake

Photos will be posted on this update tomorrow (Tuesday)

North Gorkha area – supplies
CAN attempted to get food supplies taken on the helicopter to North Gorkha area, which brought back 28 people including Maggie Burgess. Unfortunately we were not successful in this. However, un-used essential foodstuffs and medical supplies from Maggie’s trekking party have been left with the CAN nurses at Lho Gaon.

Doctors and medics arriving in Solokumbu District
Two doctors from IPPG/CAN’s Porters Rescue Shelters at Machermo and Gokyo have now met with Andrew Locke and his team from the Australian Himalaya Foundation. After overnighting in Paiya they will to continue south to the southern border of the Solukhumbu District, where there is much need for their medical skills.

Supplies sent to Helambu area – Melamchiguan
Doug spoke with Bhai Tamang in KTM this morning, who organised the relief supplies sent to Melamchi. The porter team is already back in KTM and already preparing to carry further food and supplies Melamchi. They hope to set off early tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.

Assessing the needs and damage in Langtang and North Gohrkha
Doug has asked the CAN office in Kathmandu to now concentrate on getting complete info on the Langtang and North Gorkha areas and to press for help and supplies to be taken in helicopters to these areas which have been particularly badly devasted.

Nepal Trust – of which Doug Scott is a patron
Of course CAN is just one of many UK based charities already working on the ground in Nepal to give immediate help and relief. The Nepal Trust, based in Glasgow, have already helped provide clean drinking water and are sourcing tents from India.

Accessing funds donated to the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC)
Phil Powell, CAN’s fundraiser, is working extremely hard and battling paperwork and ‘red tape’ to try an enable CAN to access some of the funds raised by the DEC Appeal. The DEC has pre-existing agreements to distribute funds to a number of ‘chosen charities’ (Oxfam etc.). However, given the very challenging needs of providing aid and re-building communities in the remote mountain areas and CAN’s expertise and experience here, DEC are considering CAN’s approach. Thanks to Phil for taking on this challenge.

Offers of help,  partnerships and fundraising

Stuart Dickinson of Rampant Yak, who have freighted Nepalese goods FOC for CAN over many years, was up in Namche Bazaar near Everest when the quake struck, described things like this “We are up in Namche Bazaar . Pretty scary when quake struck , especially 2nd aftershock . We were on exposed mountain path trying to make Namche when it struck . Massive rockslide opposite us. I’ve not moved so fast for 20 years!”

Stuart is already organising a Nepal Earthquake Appeal fundraising lecture in July – with Doug and CAN Trustee Jeff Frew speaking. Thank you.

Simon Balderstone from the Australian Himalayan Foundation (AHT) has contacted CAN. Using Australian dollars raised by AHT and working in partnership with CAN’s expert Nepali team they hope to help rebuild schools. It is heartening to see how the whole world seems to be thinking of Nepal at the moment and working together to help the Nepalese people during this catastrophe.

UIAA – sending details of CAN’s Earthquake Appeal to it’s supporters
It’s great to see that the UIAA (the world governing body for mountaineering and climbing) has been promoting CAN’s Earthquake Appeal amongst it’s members and followers. Thank you.

Report from Maggie Burgess (of Promise Nepal), in Kathmandu – what’s being done on the ground
Maggie tells us:
“It is a really mixed situation here. There are not huge swathes of devastation in the city, but instead a whole old house will have collapsed and the one next store remains intact. The very ugly new buildings with lots of glass are surprisingly mostly intact.

People are starting to live inside homes again so less tent city. We saw a long line at a soup kitchen by Durbar square yesterday. Foreigners are standing on the street in Thamel holding up signs asking for money…. There are many individuals trying to help, Lions Club has a stand in the veg market collecting food and clothes for example

As usual there is chaos…. WAY too many organizations and very little co-ordination

We went to Anandaban leprosy hospital yesterday I have as you know worked with them for many years…. They are so honest, professional and dedicated

They give all leprosy care free and charge other patients, which obviously helps pay for leprosy care. In light of the disaster and without the funding behind them but full faith that the good Lord will provide they have declared that all disaster victims will be treated for free….

So they have done over 100 operations mostly fractures and yesterday had a backlog of 45 patients and more coming in as they send medical teams to hard hit areas and bring patients back as necessary… Patients are everywhere but they are coping.

A surgeon from Samaritans purse USA is helping to operate. 4 Indian surgeons arrived while we were there 2 Syrian orthodox from Kerala and 2 Catholics. They had come in their own vehicle but attached to a convoy of trucks full of practical aid blankets tarpaulins cooking pots etc plus medicine. They tried to cross the border near Rauxaul and were refused unless they paid duty on all the aid stuff…. Nepali government officials never ceases to amaze. So they hid medicines under seats in shirts etc and came only in their car!”

They evacuated the full 120 bed hospital immediately after the quake. One of the post grad nurses on the diploma in Tropical medicine course I teach on at London School in Hygiene and Tropical medicine (who was awarded The Dr Maggie Burgess Scholarship to Anandaban) arrived 2 weeks before the earthquake she had done 2 terms as a T/A in Afghanistan so quickly rose to the occasion … That’s the news so far”.


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