People in Need has helped 11 350 families after the earthquake in Nepal and provides shelter and protection for women and children
Kathmandu (13 July 2015) – Even after more than two months since the devastating earthquake in Nepal, there are 2.8 million people who have lost their homes and livelihoods and remain in urgent need of humanitarian aid. Their situation is exacerbated by monsoons and impending mudslides. Thanks to the SOS Nepal charity appeal, People in Need has already helped 56 750 people. Thousands of families have received tarpaulins, ropes, corrugated sheets and tools for provisional repairs of their houses. People in Need has supplied thousands of people with blankets, mattresses and solar lamps, which are often the only source of electricity. The team in Nepal transports material in helicopters even to the most remote mountain areas, which are completely cut from traditional markets.
The most affected communities were further provided with 46 multi-purpose tents that serve as schools and health centres. In a camp for internally displaced people and ten other villages, People in Need focuses on the protection of women and children. “Even before the earthquake, illegal human trafficking displaced nearly 12 000 people from Nepal, mostly women and children,” says Denisa Bultasová, the coordinator for People in Need’s programmes in Nepal. The situation has become even worse after the earthquake. “Nepali families have many children. Some parents, having lost their home and sources of income, suddenly feel under a lot of pressure, as they struggle to provide for all of their children,” describes Denisa Bultasová.
People, such as a family from Tatopani, have often lost everything and ended up in camps for internal refugees. “The earthquake completely destroyed our house, leaving our family of nine children with nowhere to go. When we learned about the camp in Kathmandu, we decided to go there. We had to take out a loan of 6000 rupees for our journey. On the way we only slept under a tarpaulin,” says one of the inhabitants of the camp. “We thought that our situation here would improve, but we only have one gas heater for five tents and gas is expensive, so we have to use wood for heating. We have no money or work opportunities and our children cannot even attend school here. My husband therefore returned to work on the field in Tatopani and I fear what the future will bring,“ says a woman from the camp.
Help in camps for displaced persons
Parents often find it difficult to secure enough food for so many children and they need a solution to their difficult situation. “If someone promises to procure work or an education for their children, parents often consider such offer. Some do not even hesitate to consent child marriage,” says one resident of a camp in Bhaktapur. Similar problems occur after catastrophes even in other parts of the world. “A stressful environment and the loss of basic safety contribute to the escalation of family problems, sometimes even resulting in domestic violence. In such an environment, it is necessary to pay increased attention to the prevention of sexual violence,” says Denisa Bultasová.
People in Need began to protect women and children in the Bode camp in Bhaktapur. “We conducted a survey and provided 279 women with hygiene kits and basic information on where to seek help. Moreover, we schooled 12 women and 14 men who will ensure the safety of women and children in the camp,” explains Denisa Bultasová.
“Trained individuals are now able to deal with different cases of abuse of women and children, while asking the camp direction to provide toilet lighting, locks for tents and further measures to improve the safety of the 889 women and children in the camp,” she adds.
Meanwhile, the problem is getting worse even outside of the camps. Many schools report a highly decreased child attendance after the involuntary vacations. Schools were also destroyed and children often work in the fields instead of studying. People in Need will therefore offer similar help in 10 other villages in the Sindhupalchok district, where 130 people will receive training in women and child protection. They will not only address prevention, but also the means to intervene in rights violations.
Multi-purpose tents serve as classrooms or health centres
Thousands of Nepali families still struggle to cope with the loss of their homes. Throughout Nepal, the earthquake has completely destroyed nearly 600 000 homes, while more than 280 000 other houses are damaged. In the weeks following the earthquake, the Nepali team was distributing tarpaulins and ropes. Now, the team provides the most vulnerable families with corrugated sheets and tools for provisional repairs of their homes. Damaged households have also received blankets, mattresses, and food.
People in Need also helped to refurbish the home of hundred-year-old Sher Bahadur Gurung from Kerabari, who survived the fall of his house at the end of April. He now sits in a makeshift home and encourages his children to swiftly re-plant rice on their small fields. “We have to make things right as soon as possible, it simply has to be done,” he says wisely.
In the most affected areas in the Gorkha district, 46 multi-purpose tents were also built thanks to People in Need. “Most of them function as makeshift classrooms, 12 were turned into monasteries or community centres, 5 into health centres, while several tents are used as local government offices,” says Denisa Bultasová. We have supplied 570 solar lamps to Gorkha mountain villages without electricity, where solar energy is the only source of light after dark and the only way for families to charge their mobile phones,” explains Denisa Bultasová.
People in Need has so far helped 56 750 people:
8475 families have received tarpaulins for provisional shelters
2300 families have received corrugated sheets
1190 families have received tools for house repairs
3576 covers and 3731 mattresses were distributed to people who have lost their homes and equipment
500 families have received food aid
570 families have received solar lamps
46 tents serve as schools, health centres, monasteries, and community centres
889 women and children have received protection
In Nepal, People in Need currently has a team of 4 international and 20 local staff and three local partner organizations. All activities are coordinated with partners form the platform Alliance2015 and other organizations. So far, 31.2 million Czech crowns have been sent to the SOS Nepal charity account 54333345/0300. “The biggest donor so far is the Vodafone Foundation with its contribution of over 800 000 CZK, which has also sent a text message charity appeal to its clients. The Avast Foundation has also donated 500 000 Czech crowns,” says Tereza Inková from People in Need’s fundraising department. The company O2 also announced a fundraising campaign among its employees and by doubling their donations, it raised over 500 000 CZK. People in Need would like to thank all of those who have donated to Nepal or are considering a financial contribution. In the following months, funds will be needed to reconstruct the country.
People in Need in Nepal:
People in Need launched the public appeal SOS NEPAL to help victims of the earthquake. Furthermore, it has allocated up to 1 000 000 CZK from the People in Need Club of Friends Relief Fund for immediate help, while sending a three-member humanitarian team to the location the day after the earthquake. The most destructive earthquake in Nepal in 80 years has reached a magnitude of 7,8 with the epicentre in the central part of the country, while further aftershocks at a 7,3 magnitude hit Nepal on the 12th of May.
For more information, please contact:
Denisa Bultasová, Coordinator of Programmes in Nepal, People in Need, +420 777 257 960, Denisa.Bultasova@clovekvtisni.cz