CARE has provided more than 23,000 people with food, emergency shelter and hygiene kits in Nepal.
One month after the Nepal earthquake on 25 April, providing safe emergency shelter to survivors before the upcoming monsoon remains one of the most pressing needs. Over 750,000 homes were destroyed or damaged and over 8,500 people were killed from the huge earthquake and resulting aftershocks.
Within the first month, CARE has provided more than 23,000 people with food, emergency shelter and hygiene items, including Australian Government relief supplies, in some of the hardest-hit areas such as Gorkha, Sindhupalchowk and Dhading districts. CARE continues to ramp up its relief efforts to help people recover from the country’s worst disaster in 80 years.
“We have a very short window to provide communities with roofs over their heads before the rain starts,” says Lex Kassenberg, CARE Nepal Country Director. “With the Nepali people’s resilience and tireless work to rebuild their homes, we think it’s doable; but it’s a race against time. In the coming days, families will be provided with materials needed for longer-term housing, such as corrugated iron sheeting.
“A mother in Gorkha, whose house collapsed during the earthquake, told me that people might have lost their homes, but they have not lost their hope,” says Mr Kassenberg.
“It is critical that training on safe building techniques is provided and information on how to build back safer is shared through radio and other channels, along with the provision of building materials such as cement.
“People have asked us to advise on and facilitate the reconstruction process, to make sure a safer and better Nepal is rebuilt. The road to recovery is long, but we see a strong sense of community and great resilience of the people,” says Mr Kassenberg.
Pregnant and breast-feeding women – who are living in temporary shelters without proper access to healthcare and food – are at particular risk. CARE is distributing health kits that include essential medicines and supplies for birthing attendants to handle medical complications during delivery.
Reaching remote villages also remains a major challenge, one that will only increase with the impending onset of the monsoon season and an increased risk of landslides and damaged roads.