Nepal Update: July 2015

NEPAL1.jpgUPDATE OF DISASTER SITUATION

  • Recently the Nepal Government has estimated that the earthquake has caused US$7 billion in damage and losses[1]
  • Providing adequate shelter for earthquake affected households still remains a key priority, as many families continue to live in makeshift housing that may not withstand the monsoon rains. As of the 21st of July, an estimated 59,400 people continue to shelter in 104 displacement sites[2].
  • It is now Nepal’s monsoon season, which has greatly increased the vulnerability of populations affected by the earthquake. An estimated 90 percent of earthquake-affected individuals live in areas at risk of floods and landslides[3].
  • The monsoonal rains, poor road conditions and frequent landslides continue to make providing assistance challenging.

UPDATE OF ACCIR RESPONSE

It has now been 3 months since the earthquake and ACCIR’s response is transitioning from the ‘Initial Response’ stage to the ‘Recovery and Rebuilding’ stage.

In the last week of July, ACCIR will conduct a monitoring visit to Nepal to assess what has been achieved and ensure proper support and plans are in place for this next stage of the disaster response. A more detailed report of all that has occurred over last 3 months including stories and photos of those assisted will be provided at the end of August. 

HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE & HOUSING

Relief

Since the earthquake, Ps Ashok Adhikari and his team have worked very hard to provide food, water, tents, blankets and other basic supplies for hundreds of families in need. In the initial aftermath, volunteers assisted by helping rescue those trapped, recovering belongings from damaged buildings and distributing needed supplies. Assistance and assessments have been carried out in 9 different affected districts. 

 

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Housing

The focus of Ashok and his team’s efforts has now transition to assisting families rebuild their housing. Zinc sheeting has been ordered and has recently arrived in Kathmandu. These supplies will begin to be distributed before the end of July to the following families.

  • 85 very poor families from Dalit (untouchable cast) people group in Dolakha district
  • 50 families in a village in Makwanpur district. This village was selected as they have not yet received any outside assistance.

Providing children with supplies, such as uniforms and books will also begin in order to assist and ensure children are able to return to school. 

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CHILD PROTECTION, REUNIFICATION AND ANTI-TRAFFICKING AWARENESS

Through our partnership with Next Generation Nepal we have been able to support efforts aimed at preventing child trafficking in the aftermath of the disaster.

Child Friendly Spaces (CFS)

As of the 14th of July, seven child friendly spaces have been established and are now operating. 4 more are currently being established and will be operating by the end of July.  During the opening day of one of the spaces in Harre, over 70 children came to participate in the day’s activities.

These CFS’s provide children with a safe space were they participate in programs which offer a mix of fun, learning, awareness raising and psychological support. The main aim is to decrease the risk of trafficking as these children have a safe space to be during the day. This is especially important as so many children are unable to return to school.  Months of constant aftershocks are also taking an emotional toll on the children. The CFS tents provide a place where the children say they feel safe and are not afraid. 

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Volunteers at Police Check-Posts

Another way the project is fighting child trafficking is by stationing volunteers at Police check posts to monitor vehicles carrying children. If children are found travelling without their parents or without official paperwork, then the volunteers assist the police to determine why.

Monitors have so far stopped 17 unaccompanied children travelling without adequate documentation. All these children have now been reunited with their families and Nepal Police have launched investigations into some of these cases for suspected child trafficking. 

It is becoming widely known that check posts are stopping vehicles and requesting paperwork for children and those working on the ground believe this is a powerful deterrent against trafficking. 

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NEPAL8.jpgAdvocacy and Awareness

Activities such as the Child Friendly Spaces and check post volunteers are also being used as ways to raise awareness regarding the risks of child trafficking and what people can do to prevent traffickers.

International advocacy campaigns have also been very successful and put pressure on the government to put strong measures in place to prevent trafficking. This has included a moratorium on the establishment of new orphanages and the movement of unaccompanied minors across districts. 

MEDICAL CARE

Hospital and Medical Camps

Over the last 3 months, medical care has been provided to many people at Anandaban Hospital and through the running of medical camps. For example, more than 2100 patients were assisted at earthquake injury screening camps in 7 badly affected districts.

Anandaban Hospital continues to treat patients needing medical care such as surgeries, prosthesis, rehabilitation and physiotherapy. Plans are also being developed to repair the damage at the hospital and upgrade their facilities in order for it to be better equipped as a trauma centre to assist during future disasters.

Housing and Support

Support has also begun to be provided for those suffering leprosy whose homes have been damaged or destroyed. Financial support is beginning to be provided for families to purchase zinc sheets and pay for other expenses.  Assistance is also being provided to ensure new shelter is constructed correctly.   

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[1] Government of Nepal National Planning Commission, Post Disaster Needs Assessment. See: http://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/Worldbank/document/SAR/nepal-pdna-executive-summary.pdf

[3] See above.