Nepal Earthquake – Saturday May 2 update

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The more and more I hear from the ground, the more frustrated people are.  I was reminded by one that most of Kathmandu is OK yet the aid is centred around the city and easily accessible places in the valley, not in the villages that need it most.

I have also heard there is much donated essentials stuck at the airport in Kathmandu, with no idea on when it will be distributed.  I know Dr Raju, Dr Jas and Sheela who arrived in Kathmandu from Dhaka on April 30th, with lots and lots of supplies for SIRC, got through the airport with everything they arrived with in a reasonable timeframe.  And they started work immediately.  Peter & Claire are in constant contact with the doctors, including Dr Prakash who has finally made it back from China and is also back into the thick of surgery at Bir Hospital.  Check out SpiNepal blog for those updates. And check here to see the amount of boxes they brought with them!

From left to right:  Dipesh, Dr Raju, Chanda, Sheela, Esha, Mandira and other SIRC staff.

From left to right: Dipesh, Dr Raju, Chanda, Sheela, Esha, Mandira and other SIRC staff.

I heard from an SIRC staff member that his parents had no food or potable water at all until 5 days after the earthquake when his able-bodied wife got on a bus and walked into their village in the Sindhupalchowk  area to bring them enough food & water for a few weeks.  Sindhupalchowk is only about 115km from Kathmandu but it was particularly badly hit by the earthquake, taking out many of the roads and trails that lead in there.  His parents lost their chickens and goats, as well as their home and their lone water buffalo survived.  They have been living in the animal shelter since the earthquake.

As at May 1, no aid had yet reached this village.  Absolutely shocking.  I’m not on the ground so it’s hard for me to try to figure out where the issues lie …. but something clearly has to change.  And quickly. The delays may well be on the Government of Nepal if this article is to be believed.

I received the following through a friend, and thought it worthwhile to share with you.  You do not need a facebook account to view it.  Again, pictures tell the story and how desperate things are in the Gorkha district.

This other facebook posting is from a westerner living in Nepal for many many years. I have never met him but he is a good friend of Shree, whom I have mentioned before.  This man is based in a village further east of Dhulikhel and despite many homes being severely damaged, they are doing better than some.

More good work being done by INF.

And more evidence of Nepalese getting stuck in with the clean-up work.

Before & after

And finally, a selfie from Binay (he is famous for his selfies!) in Durbar Square in Bhaktapur.  Yes there is also one in Bhaktapur in addition to Kathmandu.  Binay and his pals are spending their days clearing the rubble in his home city of Bhaktapur.  Kudos to you all!!

Binay is on the left.

Binay is on the left.  Binay was one of the business interns that worked with me at SIRC last year.

About Kate Coffey

After 30 or so years in the investment management industry, 2013 saw me turn my life up-side-down, making my way first to Nepal, then Bangladesh during that first ‘year away’. The year took me on a journey I did not expect, had me fall in love with Nepal and its people, and become inspired at the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) located in Bhainsepati - 2 hours east of Kathmandu in the Saanga foothills. Since 2014, I have returned to SIRC numerous times, working closely with the folks there in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes. In Bangladesh I marvelled at the strength and resilience of marginalized women who have the courage and audacity to break the rules and make a better life for themselves and their children through microfinance programs with BRAC. 2016-2017 saw me embark on a totally new experience in Sri Lanka, a place I never would have chosen to end up in. It’s the 40C+ heat, big humidity and tropical snakes & animals that scared me! But I ended up love love loving! my time there, working with predominantly Tamil small business owners in remote villages in north and east of the country, trying their best to recover their businesses and the lives of their employees, after decades of a civil war. My time in Sri Lanka made me realize my hard-earned business skills and experience can really be put to good use! The work the BIZ+ team and I did there ended up earning me International Volunteer of the Year Award in December 2017, presented on Capitol Hill, Washington DC no less. I am currently home on Bowen Island, in the west coast of Canada, shoring up my finances before I head off to who knows where, for my next expert volunteer assignment. This blog initially started out as a travelogue of sorts to keep friends and family worldwide updated while I was off on my travels in 2013-2014. Since then it has morphed into a life story of the many places I have lived and worked and of the wonderful people I have met along the way. I hope you enjoy.
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One Response to Nepal Earthquake – Saturday May 2 update

  1. Pingback: Blog SCI Nepal | Spinal Cord Injury Collaboration | Nepal

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