When we heard news of the earthquake in Nepal our first thought was for our staff in Kathmandu and for the communities we work with. Once pictures and news started coming through we realised the full scale of the destruction. Loss of lives, homes and livestock meant that many people had been left with nothing.
We are a small charity and have never had to face this sort of emergency before. 43% of our projects were severely affected and we were concerned about damage to the water pumps and irrigation systems that people relied upon for basic needs. In dire need of funds we launched the Nepal Earthquake Urgent Appeal. The response was overwhelming. I am humbled to say that within a few weeks we had raised £27,605 to support those most affected by the quake. We are using these donations to help some of the worst hit communities, in the Dhading region, to rebuild their lives.
The rural communities in this district grow vegetable crops for income and for food. It is vital that they are able to plant these crops before the season ends in a few weeks’ time, as missing this harvest will drive them further into poverty. Most people are living in tents as their houses have been destroyed. Each day they head into the fields to try and salvage their livelihoods. Despite this hardship they remain stoically optimistic. Our Nepal Programme Manager Lata Shrestha said:
“There are very few houses are standing and even those which are standing have sustained major damage. But good thing was to see how communities have mobilised locally available resources to re-build their lives. It made me feel better to see hope in people’s eyes. It gave me confidence that despite of destruction we will be able to continue to work with the communities. We were happy that our support will make their lives a little easier.”
We have partnered with international relief organisation ADRA to help communities recover by working with them to repair and restore water pumping systems and to provide agricultural inputs (seeds and tools) and agricultural training to farmers. We will also be on the ground delivering solar lamps, chargers and radios to 300 households.
This week our project manager Ganga has been in Dhading with ADRA delivering these supplies and ensuring that people have the basic resources they need to begin the recovery process. Keep a look out for updates from the field on Twitter and Facebook.
If you would like to contribute further to our work and the relief efforts in Nepal then we welcome you to sign up as a regular giver. Even £5 a month makes a huge difference, allowing us to offer energy access to those who exist in poverty because they are cut off from modern energy services.