Today’s earthquake in Nepal is terrible news - coming just as a semblance of normality was returning to the country and the aftershocks had died down from the first quake two weeks ago. Please donate to help us get aid to survivors. Wherever possible, people had started to move back home from their temporary shelters. They will be back on the streets again tonight, sheltering under tarpaulin – terrified, and with terrible memories reawakened.
Earthquakes affect everyone. Our own staff in Nepal have been coming to work every day since the first earthquake stuck, while worrying about their own families and homes. Our team distributing aid today in Rasuwa had to run to survive a landslide caused by the second quake. Thankfully they’re now safely back at base.
Race against time before monsoon hits
Many people can’t move back home - over 500,000 homes have already been damaged or destroyed, so tarpaulins and tents are urgently needed. And now we're in a race against time as the monsoon season approaches.
One of the ways ActionAid helps survivors in situations like this is to provide small cash grants to remote communities to help people build temporary shelters. This has the added benefit of helping the local economy, and is the quickest way to get help to where it's most needed.
ActionAid staff are already on the ground
This morning SKY news asked me if the international search and rescue teams will be needed once again – but our staff are on the ground now and have been since the beginning of this disaster. We’ve worked in Nepal for over 30 years and know the worst affected areas.
That means we have been able to quickly mobilise communities and hundreds of local volunteers to distribute urgently needed relief supplies - such as rice, lentils, tarpaulins and sanitary supplies.
So far we have reached almost 50,000 people – using trucks, 4 x 4 vehicles and porters with 40kilo packs to cover the last few miles.
Reaching isolated communities in rural areas
ActionAid has prioritised the hardest to reach areas like Sindhupalchok, where the higher you climb, the worse the destruction. Many houses in these remote mountain villages are made of stone and mud plaster and they quickly collapsed after the first earthquake. It is the poorest who suffer the most – they can’t afford to build safer concrete buildings.
In Janasewa school I met the Headteacher Nanda Nhalojan who was leading the local women’s group and distributing supplies. Three children from her school had died in the first quake and she sobbed, saying: “We will never forget your help. Please continue and help other communities. I hope no one else has to face this type of disaster again”.
Please help survivors recover from trauma
ActionAid will continue with our urgent relief efforts; supporting local communities, who know their areas best, to take the lead. Taking action helps people come to terms with the trauma they’ve been through and to start to regain control of their lives.
We need your help now to begin the local haul of recovery and longer-term reconstruction.