I normally always enjoy writing my blog and generally have a funny story or two to share. Sadly today is different, today Nepal is in a state of dis-pair due to the powerful earthquake that struck 2 days ago on Saturday 25th April. To date more than 3500 people have been killed and over 4000 people injured. Depressingly this number is increasing by the minute.
Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world with a large population of approximately 28 million with 1 million people living in Kathmandu; although a suspected 3-4 million are living in the capital unofficially.
Here are a new photos that been shared from the media highlighting the devastation in the capital Kathmandu.
The earthquake – which measured 7.8 on the Richter scale has flattened and destroyed a lot of Nepal. In Kathmandu the famous and iconic Dharahara tower collapsed, and Kathmandu, Patan’s and Bhaktapur’s durbar square are all in pieces. Not only has this causes a huge amount of deaths and injuries but it is a huge loss to Nepal’s cultural heritage. Below are pictures of Patan Durbar square before and after the earthquake hit.
I really didn’t think things could get any worse but I am told by friends in Nepal that on Saturday in Kathmandu they felt at least 20 aftershocks. Yesterday it was reported that an after shock reaching 6.7 on the Richter scale was felt. Consequently most people are too scared to go back in their houses so sleeping out in the cold.
The media has shared a lot of what has happened in the capital and the city of Pokhara. However little is known about what has happened in the more rural areas such as in Kathmandu valley and districts such as Dhading and Gorka which are close to the epicenter. Most of Nepal’s rural areas are made up of lots of villages where there are no hospitals and poor accessibility. In January this year I had the pleasure of staying with my guide friend Ram and his family in a little village in the district of Dhading. I had an amazing time and was looked after so well.
Above are pictures of my time in the village and the lovely children who kept me occupied.
This village is 150 km from Kathmandu but takes about 7 hours to get there due to poor condition of the road. These villages are built in the valleys prone to landslides. It is villages like these that will be virtually impossible to get to yet it is these villages that may need aid the most.
A village destroyed in Lamjung.
Throughout Nepal there are houses built on the side of the road next to huge cliffs. Given what we know about the devastation in Kathmandu I dread to think of the impact that the earthquake has had on these very vulnerable people.
Dozens of British travellers and climbers are among the hundreds feared missing or dead after being caught up in the devastating Nepalese earthquake and Everest avalanche that followed.
Chaos in the mountains
Given the geographical position of Nepal the earthquake has triggered many avalanches in the mountains, one of which was hit is the famous and popular Everest base camp of the world’s tallest mountain.
At least 18 people have been killed and hundreds of tourists and guides are now trapped or buried in snow and ice as rescue parties struggle to reach them. It is unknown the impact that the earthquake has had in other parts of the mountains.
I spent 3 months in Nepal and during my time I met some of the most kindest and incredible people that I ever encountered. I know that it is not just me who feels this way – every-time I speak to someone who has been to Nepal will often say that it is the people that they loved the most. Of course this is quickly followed by Nepal’s beauty in both the mountains and in the south.
Any government in the world would have been overwhelmed by the scale of this disaster, but the logistical difficulties in Nepal, a poor, near-roadless, mountainous land, are extraordinary.
Aid agencies expressed concern for the welfare of survivors in the coming days, as overnight temperatures were expected to drop and people were forced to make do without electricity, running water and shelter. Save the Children have stated that Food, clothing and medicine will be urgently required.
Charities such as Oxfam and the Red Cross are on the ground given aid and helping in the search for survivors.
Any disaster that happens in the world is always upsetting but I suppose there is always an element of being able to detach yourself from what is happening elsewhere. Having spent time in Nepal, getting to know the amazing people and knowing the state of the road-less roads, poor infrastructure and the vulnerabilities of so many means that I can’t detach myself. Nepal provided me with experiences of a life time and although I am very lucky that I was not caught up in this disaster but sadly this brings little comfort to me knowing the suffering that this has caused and will go on to cause.
It is for these reasons that I have written this blog to plea for people to donate to charities on the ground giving the most needed support. The destruction and devastation caused by this earthquake is heartbreaking……please please please donate to support the people of Nepal.
There are lots of different charities providing support and it is often difficult to choose which charity – here are some of the major charities and details of the work that they are doing.
1). GlobalGiving is a charity fundraising website that has set up a fund specifically for Nepal relief efforts. The money collected will go to “help first responders meet survivors’ immediate needs for food, fuel, clean water, hygiene products, and shelter. Once initial relief work is complete, this fund will transition to support longer-term recovery efforts” run by vetted local organizations, according to a post on the GlobalGiving site.
2). Save the Children an international NGO dedicated to promoting children’s rights and providing relief and support to children in developing countries. It has set up a Nepal fund to “protect vulnerable children and provide desperately needed relief to families.”
3). UNICEF, the United Nation program dedicated to helping children in developing countries, is currently“mobilizing an urgent response to meet the needs of children” affected by the disaster, and is working to deliver water purification tablets, hygiene kits and nutrition supplies to those in need.
4) Oxfam, a confederation of NGOs, currently has “aid workers … on the ground, preparing to launch a rapid response to ensure food and water reaches” survivors.