ActionAid Blog

The water mill in the town of Manigaun was destroyed during one of the earthquakes to hit Nepal earlier this year. The building in which the grinding stones worked collapsed and the channels which brought water to turn the stones were broken. Now, three months later I was able to watch as the heavy granite stones turned again for the first time.

Hiranya and her husband have been millers in the village for 37 years.
Hiranya and her husband have been millers in the village for 37 years.
Photo: Mike Noyes, ActionAid

 

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Manigaun was heavily hit by the earthquake. Eleven people died here and most houses were damaged, many completely destroyed. The traditional building construction method using stone and mud could not resist the violent shaking and walls came tumbling down.

Last week the world's governments came together in Addis Ababa to discuss how to fund the global fight against poverty. Although we were disappointed by the outcome, it was still a big step forwards for the global movement to make tax fair because it pushed the idea of a global tax body firmly on the international agenda for the first time.

Campaigners in Australia in front of the Sydney Opera House.
Campaigners in Australia in front of the Sydney Opera House.
Photo: ActionAid

What were we campaigning for?

The Financing for Development summit offered an exciting opportunity for the creation of a new global tax body. The whole international tax system is broken and a global body would have given developing countries a say in setting new, fairer rules. Developing countries are hit hard by tax dodging.

Almost exactly a year ago, we started our Ebola emergency programme in Sierra Leone. We were one of the first agencies to respond, and our work with community mobilisers and the innovative ways we used to get the message out undoubtedly helped save lives. I recently visited the town of Bumpe in Kono district, meeting some of the dedicated and inspiring volunteers who continue to work on the front line of our Ebola response.

Community mobilisers working on the front line of the Ebola response in Bumpe, behind a hand washing station. Amie, Kaimuta and Lilian are the adults on the far left.
Community mobilisers working on the front line of the Ebola response in Bumpe, behind a hand washing station. Amie, Kaimuta and Lilian are the adults on the far left.
Photo: ActionAid

Lilian, Kaimuta and Amie are three of the 1,200 volunteers that we trained across Sierra Leone. They took up ActionAid's call for people to be trained about Ebola, and then went door to door raising awareness about the disease and how to prevent its spread. They set up public handwashing points and kept them topped up with chlorinated water.

It's been almost three months since two massive earthquakes struck Nepal. Our initial focus was on providing urgent food and shelter to communities who had lost everything. Now, we are helping to rebuild homes, schools and livelihoods. So far with our partners we have supported communities to construct 950 temporary shelters, distributed 3,300 storage bins to farmers so they can keep crops dry, and created 14 fully functioning safe spaces for women. 

Minesh Gurung, a 30 year old civil engineer working with ActionAid to construct safe temporary shelters.
Minesh Gurung, a 30 year old civil engineer working with ActionAid to construct safe temporary shelters.
Photo: Manish Malla/ActionAid

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Minesh Gurung, a 30 year old Nepalese civil engineer working with ActionAid, describes his work overseeing the construction of safe, temporary shelters in Sindhupalchok district.

"When I first came to Sindhupalchowk it was much worse than shown in the media. I had expected damage but not as huge as I saw. All the houses had turned into piles of rubble and dust.

This year, for the first time ever, we're at Latitude Festival. With the help of our fantastic volunteers, we'll be setting up a huge Nepalese tent for a weekend of activities for all the family. It will be a lot of fun - but it's all for a serious cause.  Read on to find out what we'll be doing, and how it will support our work to help rebuild Nepal.

Join us at our Nepalese tent at Latitude Festival this year.
Join us at our Nepalese tent at Latitude Festival this year.
Photo: ActionAid

When two devastating earthquakes hit Nepal earlier this year, we were one of the first organisations to respond. Nepal may have slipped from the headlines now, but our work there continues. At Latitude, we'll be showing how we're helping communities in the worst hit areas rebuild secure homes and schools and regain their livelihoods.