Nepal Earthquake Update Report 18th June


CAN’s Nepal Earthquake Appeal has now reached over £500,000.

There have been some fantastic fundraising events, of all ‘sizes’, organised by CAN supporters over recent weeks.

These have ranged from individual challenge fundraisers such as Karl Koan’s Welsh 3000’s climb and Jill Lawson’s 50 mile Calderdale Ultra Run, to mass participation events such as Matt Le Voi and John Brook’s ‘Blencathra by Moonlight’ walk and Rupert Bonington’s ‘Climb for CAN’ 24 Hours Everest Ice Wall Challenge.

Less tiring fundraising has included workplace foodie events like Oxford Vaccine Group’s Cake Bake’n’ Sale and the Nepalese Curry Evening by Carte Blanche Events.

Whether the event raised a few hundred pounds or tens of thousands of pounds – thank you all.

The numbers supporting the Appeal have meant we are a little behind in acknowledging all the fundraisers. We endeavour to thank everyone…..eventually!

Special Charity Auction  by the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) – starts Sunday 28th June

Famous faces, big name brands and world-renowned mountaineers are donating their time, expertise and personal treasures to raise funds for Nepal. Amongst the amazing auction lots are:
• Memorabilia from the 1953 Everest Expedition
• Climb and dine with Everest climber Kenton Kool
• Pete Boardman’s boots as worn on Everest
• Climbing lesson with Alpine legend Mick Fowler

Click here for a sneak preview of the lots  and to read more auction details on the BMC website

THE SITUATION IN MOUNTAIN VILLAGES – Report from CAN Earthquake Recce Team

The first Earthquake Recce Team visited Nepal at the end of last month. The team included Doctor Richard Parkin, CAN nurse Nirmala, David Webber from Shelterbox and CAN supporter Lizzy Hawker.

Here are some of the key points from their reports:

David Webber, who has many years of experience in disaster relief including post earthquake aid, identified the proportionally far greater destruction of buildings in Nepal than in other earthquake areas he has worked. The extensive use of un-cemented stone construction has led to the collapse of many walls, with loss of life a consequence. David considers that alternative construction methods, with greater use of timber, may pose less risk to life in any future quakes.


Homes: Dwellings in the village are largely destroyed, with most inhabitants living in temporary shelters.
Demolishing, sorting and recycling of building materials is now required.

Health Post: This is badly damaged but possibly repairable as the foundations and roof are largely OK.
Two nurses are providing health care, including a birthing facility, from a makeshift temporary timber and tin shelter and a tent. Equipment and medical supplies have been salvaged as much as possible, although there is concern over the security of medical supplies.

The pharmacy has been well supplied by donor organisations.

Kutumsang Health Post before the earthquake

Kutumsang Health Post before the earthquake

Kutumsang Health Post after the earthquake

Kutumsang Health Post after the earthquake



The situation is complicated in Milarepa due to unstable ground conditions – heavily cracked and subjected to landslides. Although the Health Post and school are still standing and partly useable they will require demolishing and re-siting in more stable locations.

 Health Post: one room is being used for storage of supplies and equipment and a health clinic is being operated by one nurse from a tent supplied by the VDC. No birthing facilities are available.
The pharmacy operates from a secure cupboard in the tent and is well stocked.

Milarepa Health Post before the earthquake

Milarepa Health Post before the earthquake

Milarepa Health Post after the earthquake

Milarepa Health Post after the earthquake

The village, its dwellings, school and health post have been completely destroyed.

School:  the school is now operating out of temporary classrooms and the children are eager to learn despite demanding conditions.

Health Post: Health care is operating from a tent, although it is ill equipped at present. There are no birthing, wound dressing, minor surgery or dental facilities.

Melamchigaun Health Post before the earthquake

Melamchigaun Health Post before the earthquake

Melamchigaun Health Post after the earthquake

Melamchigaun Health Post after the earthquake

The school has been very badly damaged.

CAN’s building overseer Anil met with David Webber and Dr. Richard.
Structural damage means the newly completed hostel accommodation block will require demolition and rebuilding, possibly in the school field. The older brick built school may be repairable.

Currently there is concern over how suitable temporary accommodation for pupils will be provided (likely to be timber and tin shelters) in locations safe from flooding by the nearby Bodhe Koshi river and from further landslides during the monsoon.

Bahrabise School before the earthquake

Bahrabise School before the earthquake

Bahrabise School entrance after  after quake 800 x 600

Bahrabise School after the earthquake

The unprecedented recent events have put great strain on CAN’s staff in Nepal, many of whom have lost their own homes and had the lives of their families devastated.

Inevitably this has meant difficulties for CAN staff responding to the needs of communities and colleagues as they might in ‘normal’ times. In the remote villages CAN nurses and staff have simply had to improvise and respond in the best way possible to the situation, doing an admirable, tireless job for their communities.

The support and encouragement from CAN UK, CAN’s Kathmandu office and Village Management Committees will be vital in the rebuilding of both physical structures and community morale. David Webber and Dr. Richard reported a visible ‘lifting of spirits’ after their visits to villages. Putting in place or re-establishing community and staff support mechanisms should be a priority.


The next recce team to visit Nepal will include Doug and Trish Scott, who will meet with villagers and communities affected by the earthquake, visit CAN projects where possible and meet with CAN’s Nepal staff.

Doug and Trish will be assessing the needs at first hand, which will directly inform CAN’s continuing response to the disaster.

In line with the recommendations of Dr Richard Parkin’s report it is hoped the visit will be morale boosting for both earthquake affected communities and CAN’s team in Nepal.


On 4th June a fundraising reception was held at the House of Lords, hosted by the Right Honourable Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean, Peter O’Kane, Chairman, The D Group, British Expertise International and sponsored by WYG and Roughton, Graham Olver, WYG Chairman. A report on the reception from the CAN office follows.

CAN was represented by CAN trustees Dr Rob Lorge, Paul Braithwaite, Article 25 Managing Director Robin Cross, Doug’s wife Trish and Phil Powell, fundraiser. In view of the fact that Doug was committed months ago to speak at the RGS on behalf of Ed Hillary’s Himalayan Trust UK, CAN’s Patron, Sir Chris Bonington agreed to deliver a speech.

In his speech Sir Chris explained Community Action Nepal’s background and what had been achieved over the previous 20 years, why the project work was started and how CAN has helped the mountain people of Nepal by establishing schools, school hostels, Health Posts and Porter Rescue Shelters and thereby raising their living standards and strengthening community-based indigenous culture for approximately 250.000 people.

He continued, “CAN ensures that funds raised in the UK go directly to the projects. Overheads are kept on an absolute minimum both in the UK and in Nepal….. I am immensely proud to be CAN’s Patron and to stand here for Doug who Doug who was committed months ago to speak at the Royal Geographical Society on behalf of Sir Ed Hillary’s Himalayan Trust UK – a sign of how these charities help each other and in no way compete.”

Sir Chris spoke of the two massive earthquakes that on 25 April and 12 May hit Nepal, “devastating whole communities and shattering lives. Over 8,500 people were killed, 20,000 injured and half a million homes were destroyed…. 28 projects in remote areas of Nepal including Health Posts and schools supported by CAN, beacons of hope and aspiration, were destroyed or so severely damaged they will have to be rebuilt….. The materials from these buildings will be recycled where possible. The school for deaf children at Bahrabise was built of concrete and very little can be recycled – it may cost around £65,000 to re-site, replace and rebuild the school and hostel.”

The event’s sponsors, WYG were thanked for committing £20,000 of cash, expertise and Duty of Care Resources. The D Group and British Expertise International agreed to fund the rebuilding of the Health Post at Melamchigaun.


Early investigations show that much of the damage done and many of the lives lost, during the earthquake, was a consequence of collapsing heavy stonework.

Investigations into practical alternative building methods appropriate to Nepal are now needed. CAN is therefore speaking with Article 25 who are the UK’s leading architectural aid charity to discuss suitable new construction methods.

Article 25, whose skills include architecture, engineering and design have worked across the globe since their formation following the Asian Tsunami in 2004 and Pakistan Earthquake of 2005.


The United Nations produces regular ‘Situation Reports’ on the Nepal Earthquake. Here are some key points from their latest report of 3rd June.
505,000 houses destroyed and 280,000 houses damaged by the earthquakes of 25th April and 12 May. 864,000 people have lost their homes in remote mountain areas

Impending monsoon rains will hamper distribution of aid and resources, with particular difficulties in the mountainous Gorkha region, accessible only by helicopter due to landslides.
Concerns mount over continuing internal migrations of displaced communities and operation of temporary camps – particularly hygienic drainage and sanitation facilities during the monsoon season.

Government approved ‘Cash for Work’ programmes demolishing, sorting and recycling building materials are beginning. (CAN is already operating this type of scheme in some villages)

36,000 classrooms have been destroyed impacting on one million school children. Temporary ‘Back to School’ classrooms are now operating in 16 districts. (CAN is already operating temporary classrooms in some villages)

Food supply is now a worry in remote areas. 70% of households are estimated to have only borderline food supplies. 236,000 farming households have been badly affected in the six worst hit districts: Sindhupalchchowk, Nuwakot, Dhading, Rasuwa, Gorkha and Dolakha.

UN ‘cluster’ charities have distributed 10-day food rations to 1.9 million in the hardest hit districts.

 GARDEN OPEN DAY at Doug and Trish Scott’s Lake District home, Sunday 28th June

DSC_0132 800 x 600

Alliums in the Scott garden, June 2015

Doug and Trish have occasionally opened their garden over the years as part of the National Garden Scheme (NGS) Open Days. A warm welcome is offered to all, particularly friends and supporters of CAN.

This year their garden at Stewart Hill Cottage (7 miles west of Penrith) is open 2.00 – 5.00pm Sunday 28th June. Admission is £3.50, tea and cake is £1.50.

Fundraising will take place for both the NGS chosen charities and CAN.

Click here for full Garden Open Day details

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