On Saturday, 25th April 2015, a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake caused severe devastation in many areas of the country. It is the nation’s worst earthquake in 80 years and it has already claimed thousands of lives. The aftershocks continue and there was a second earthquake on Sunday afternoon. The number of dead is around 5000 but the true scale of the destruction, especially in remote areas, will not be clear for weeks. Supplies of water, food, electricity and fuel in the capital, Kathmandu, are severely limited and many of the remote areas that have been hit the hardest are virtually inaccessible.
NTTI Master Trainers Sumati Shakya and Bikash Koirala are safe but their houses were severely damaged and they, like so many others, are sleeping on the street, despite the cold at night, for fear of being trapped inside if there is another earthquake or after shock.
Two of our NTTI’s project areas; Gorkha (where NTTI started conducting teacher trainings last year) and Sindhulpalchok (where NTTI has been working for almost three years) are among the most severely affected regions. The devastation is unimaginable. People have lost everything; lives have been lost, their homes have collapsed, they have limited food or equipment to prepare food and much of their livestock has been killed.
Our current priority is, together with PHASE, to get supplies of food and shelter to those most in need in our project villages. We also want to get medical supplies to the villages in order to get our health posts running and provide urgent medical support.
Together with PHASE, we were able to send a first shipment of aid to the Sindhulpalchok region – we have sourced 70 bags of rice and 120 tents. The road toward Jalbire is now blocked by landslides, but we area assured that it will be open tomorrow. Tomorrow, 3 of our health staff will go as close as they can to our project areas with supplies and walk out to the villages we work with in Hagam and Fulpingkot to gather groups of people who can carry the supplies into the communities. Once this has happened the staff will stay in the health posts in Hagam and Fulpingkot to treat the injured and begin the daunting task of minimising the risk of the evitable health crisis resulting from people drinking contaminated water, disease from dead livestock and limited access to food.
We remain very concerned about lower Gorkha – the Kashigaun, Kerauja and Manbu regions. This area was very close to the epicentre and severely affected by the earthquake. The map below shows our project areas (in blue dots with red centres) and the other are all the Earthquakes in Nepal over 4.5+ magnitude in the last 7 days. The largest quake (7.8 magnitude) is shown in green.
PHASE has been in touch with Dr Elena Hazelgrove-Planel our of our GP volunteers who was in Kashigaun village, Gorkha at the time of the earthquake and remains there now. It is one of the worst affected areas, despite this the staff are continuing to treat patients there. Elena reported that yesterday they saw a mother who had very recently given birth but had a retained placenta, a life threatening complication of childbirth. PHASE health worker Anita was able to remove this. Had PHASE not been there to respond to this emergency the mother may very likely not have survived, putting her new born baby at huge risk (there is no formula milk available in these cut off communities).
We know Nepal is very close to the hearts of many of you and the people of Nepal need us now more than ever – the situation remains critical.
NTTI in collaboration with PHASE is running an Emergency Appeal to offer essential support to the staff and communities we work with.
Please donate now to support the NTTI staff and communities in Nepal who have been so severely affected.
Please share this information with friends, family and colleagues who may wish to help.Your contribution will to towards helping the extended NTTI community on the ground in Nepal.
Read more about when the earthquake hit – here
Read more about the PHASE response – here