Aid from Mission East reaches earthquake victims in Nepal

On Saturday 2nd of May, Mission East distributed tarpaulins and hygiene kits to earthquake victims in four villages close to one of the earthquake’s epicenters northeast of Kathmandu. The gratitude was moving, says Mission East employee.

On Saturday, three trucks filled with tarpaulins  and hygiene kits from Mission East reached earthquake victims in four remote communities of  Sindhupalchowk district northeast of Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, seven days after a powerful earthquake hit Nepal on April 25th. The aid of Mission East is targeting more than 2,000 homeless families living in an area, where 90 percent of houses are heavily damaged and must be completely rebuilt because of fear of collapse.

With the tarpaulins, the population will be able to protect themselves against the monsoon rains expected to start a month from now, while they rebuild their houses. With water purification tablets they will be able to clean the water and with jerry cans they will have sufficient clean water for their families. The hygiene kits will help them resist infections and diseases.

The hard-hit earthquake victims are in need of all the help they can get from the outside world. At this time, recurrent aftershocks still spread fear and prevent people from returning to their houses, fearing they will collapse. Mission East staff members met an old married couple aged 72 and 82. They have now lived under a tarpaulin for a week because they do not dare return to their apartment, even though the husband is suffering from arthritis and the wife is struggling with an eye disease. We also met a family who lost a 15-month old baby in a collapsed building. Now their remaining children help collect mud bricks for the reconstruction. A Dalit family, the so-called untouchables of the caste system, and therefore among the most vulnerable in Nepal,  lost four children in the earthquake, and their main source of income – a sewing machine – was destroyed with the house. Mission East works together with the local authorities in order to reach the most vulnerable families such as these with our assistance.

And the gratitude is striking.

- It was really touching to see people’s gratitude for receiving such basic items. They thanked us and confirmed that the aid really is welcome and needed, tells Line Højland, Communications Officer at Mission East and currently working in Nepal.

During the upcoming days, truck after truck loaded with tarpaulins, rope, jerry cans and hygiene kits will reach villages in three other affected villages of the same district, and later other affected areas. The powerful monsoon rain will start in a month’s time and last for three months. Therefore, tarpaulins are a high priority in order to provide shelter for the families while they struggle to rebuild their collapsed houses.