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Nepal needs your support

Saurav Rana's picture
Saurav Rana/World Bank
By now, all of you must have heard of the massive earthquake and numerous aftershocks that have shaken Nepal over the last few days. As I am writing this, there is another tremor, 36 hours after the initial quake.
               
I am lucky that my family is safe. We have been fortunate. The majority of the people in Kathmandu are camped out in makeshift tents set up at various open spaces across the city — schools, army barracks and open fields. Some of these are coordinated by the rescue workers while others are set up by local residents. In some places, cremations happen only 5 meters away from where people sleep. The rain makes it very difficult in an already emotionally scarring time. This is just in Kathmandu.
 
Saurav Rana/World Bank

​Rural areas, where 80% of Nepalis live, are devastated. Entire villages have disappeared, buried under landslides triggered by the multiple quakes. Where they haven't, village houses, made mainly of mud and wood, have been reduced to dust, leaving people exposed to the elements. This is happening in some of the most difficult-to-reach hilly and mountainous terrain.

The number of casualties rises by the hour. Although my family and I are safe, many of my friends have lost relatives. Many people we know no longer have their houses. Our staff’s granddaughter needs to have her leg amputated. My "Didi" who took care of me as a child and is a second mother to me - lost her cousin who was crushed when their house collapsed. She really does not even know how to begin to mourn, knowing she still has to keep herself and many other safe.

The heritage we have lost is equally unimaginable. Centuries-old temples and palace squares are down in dust. Imagine the Due Torri in Bologna or the Washington Monument in Washington D.C. crumbling into rubble. The loss has been demoralizing.

The international community has reacted swiftly and relief efforts are in full swing. Hercules and IL-76 military aircrafts have been flying around the clock bringing in supplies, relief materials and workers. Kathmandu, a valley, has only two major highways connecting it to the rest of the world by land - one with China and one with India. Reports of damage to those highways has limited what can be brought into the city by land.
 
Saurav Rana/World Bank

However, this is the just the beginning. The greatest challenges are yet to come. The monsoon season is just a month away. The wet monsoon months are synonymous with outbreaks of various diseases including dysentery, cholera, and hepatitis. With many people's homes destroyed, crowded camps will continue to provide refuge in the coming months. Such densely packed and crowded places with poor hygiene conditions will be ripe breeding grounds for diseases, especially in Kathmandu, where clean water is a scarcity even under normal circumstances.

Here’s my plea to everyone reading this.

The first response has been absolutely fantastic and lifted our spirits, but the support will need to be sustained over time. Relief will not only be limited to rebuilding but also preventing disease outbreaks, which will be more prevalent during the monsoon months.

We will need clean water, medication, waterproof clothes, and infrastructure support to build hygienic camps for people who have lost their homes.
 
Dealing with potential outbreaks will be more challenging with this devastation. Please support organizations involved in Nepal’s relief effort and also help build awareness around the impending health and sanitation issues.

It has been a very scary last few days. It has been the first time that I’ve had to confront my own mortality: sitting, waiting in the eerily quiet night knowing there will be another shock. But also overcoming this anxiety to help my family and everyone at home, and then, once they are safe, the rest of the country.

We need your support. Nepal needs you.


Blog in English: http://blogs.worldbank.org/endpovertyinsouthasia/nepal-needs-your-support
Blog in Spanish: http://blogs.worldbank.org/voices/es/nepal-necesita-su-ayuda
Blog in Arabic: http://blogs.worldbank.org/voices/ar/endpovertyinsouthasia/nepal-needs-your-support
​Blog in French: http://blogs.worldbank.org/voices/fr/le-nepal-a-besoin-de-votre-aid
What we're doing in Nepal: http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/nepal/brief/fact-sheet-world-bank-do...

Comments

Submitted by Dave fretwell on

It is good to hear you and your family are ok. I remember the many friends and colleagues I met during my multiple visits throughout the country while working on the project for conflict affected people. But this challenge clearly pales in comparison to the one created by the earthquake.

I worked on reprogramming funds from existing loans to earthquake relief after the last earthquake in Turkey. One I'd the most successful approaches we used was to create quick start community based temporary employment projects which helped create employment, rebuild services and infrastrucur and put funds in the pockets of affected individuals .

The structure and procedures we used to deliver employment services for conflict affected persons in the previous project I mentioned worked well in Nepal, were similar to those we created for the earthquake response in Turkey.

If I could be of any assistance in fast tracking start-up of similar stevices in Nepal please let me know, and some of the national and regional national staff are still (hopefully god willing) around who know these procedures and could help a quick start up.

Be safe
Dave Fretwell
1 805 238 4970
[email protected]

Submitted by Samir Kumar Das on

I myself and on behalf of our NGO (IMAECSED)sending appeal to the Government of various nations and various other authorities or organisations to help for the surviving people who ar e homeless and their assets / properties. This was a worst tremor in Nepal and as a result death are still now unaccounted and the tragedy of homeless people is also beyond description. As the rescue and recovery efforts get underway, many charities and NGOs are sending teams, essential aid and medical assistance. Due to our acute shortage of Fund we could not help them physically right now but our all sorts of other co-operation is to be with them and for any other persons or group.
Samir Kumar Das
Chairman
IMAECSED

Submitted by veeresh on

Dear Saurav, Thanks for your efforts in helping at the neediest hour. However the very first graphic above doesn't look like devastation in Nepal. Can you confirm the source of this picture? also if possible can you share other pictures from the same location?

Thanks
-Veeresh

Submitted by Sunil Goel on

We want to provide food and water to the effected people ourselves, kindly advise how can we do it and where can we distribute the food items to the most needful people, means where the help has not reached,

Submitted by basudevsharmapoudel on

Post disaster activities should be strong and focused on institutional, social, financial, reconstruction and renovations activities. Monitoring of resources, donation, help and other facilities should be properly distributed and addressed in proper place for the needy.Need coordination from government, private, community group, local body, self help group Ngo Ingo and international community.

Submitted by FOUZIA RAHMAN on

I want to be part of relief/rehabilitation team in Nepal. Who do I contact ? I am a senior public health professional and have the experience of some work undertaken in 2005 for WHO.

regards
Fouzia Rahman, karachi, Pakistan

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