Latest news from Nepal

Posted by Roger Cooke on Thu, 30 Apr 2015 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

As the death toll in Nepal continues to rise and as relief efforts to rural areas begin in earnest, the scale of the disaster and the challenges facing survivors become more clear. For the Nepalese people, the impact of the earthquake will be felt for a long, long time – well after the attention of the international news media has turned elsewhere.

We continue to pray for the country, for the government, for relief organisations and for our partners. Last night, a friend quoted a BBC Radio 4 report, saying that “Nepal will need friends for a generation to come.” As people who are committed to partnership within the global Body of Christ, CMSI, and indeed all of us, are called to be among those friends.

In the last couple of days, we’ve heard again from all of our partners in Nepal – the Zimmermans, Shreya Thapa (HDCS) and ‘B’ (SD Church). Here are some highlights from their updates:

The Zimmermans
Mark, Deirdre, Zachary and Benjamin are all well. As I mentioned in a previous post, their apartment, like many modern buildings in Kathmandu, withstood the earthquake. Deirdre writes:

We are waiting for electricity and, related to that, water supply and internet services, to be restored in our area. We are deeply grateful for how little we have been affected, while being acutely aware of how many have lost family, homes and livelihoods, especially in the rural districts surrounding Kathmandu. Please do pray for the hundreds of thousands in these areas who are waiting outdoors for aid to arrive.

Mark is the Director of the Nick Simons’ Institute (NSI), whose primary focus is to train and support health care workers in rural Nepal. On Monday, responding to a government request, Mark and a colleague undertook a ‘road and walking survey’ in a rural area to the northeast of Katmandu. They discovered that the area had suffered ‘massive losses of human life, housing, and livestock’. Everyone was sleeping ‘in makeshift lean-tos out in the fields’ and were thus exposed to mosquitoes, to issues with water and sanitation and to the coming monsoon rains. In the short-term, shelter is thus a priority, along with food and medical care.

In Shreya’s update, she talked about HDCS’s plans to send a medical team from Lamjung Hospital to some of the surrounding areas that been heavily affected, and where people might not have been able to make it to the hospital. The patients who have come to the hospital have had mostly minor injuries which are easy to manage.The hospital itself has suffered some, limited damage.

As for Kathmandu, Shreya reports that many makeshift settlements have been set up all over Kathmandu and that there is a high risk of infections and disease spreading. Finally, Shreya writes:

I have been overwhelmed and humbled by how many have expressed their concern and their desire to help. We will definitely need what help we can get. As of now there isn’t as much information on more rural areas but I expect they will need a lot of support.

SD Church
Yesterday evening, I spoke with ‘B’ who had spent most of the day meeting with the newly arrived team from Samaritans’ Purse – as they plan their relief effort. They rely on B for advice and for his skills as a local ‘fixer’.

SD has been sheltering more folk from the local area whose houses have cracked and who are afraid to return to them. With some money that was donated to them, SD bought a new generator and have secured diesel for it – this is vital to ensure that their water purification system continues to work well. They’ve been distributing clean water from the centre.

Yesterday, B’s mother, ‘G’ visited the nearby leprosy community, where there is an SD church fellowship. Everyone there is living in tents and G was able to bring large sacks of rice and other provisions for the church folk and their neigbhours.

B asks for prayers for SD as they undertake a Needs Assessment and carefully consider what they should focus on in terms of a response. They’re keen to consider the impact on those with disabilities – and see how best to support and help rehabilitate such folk.

Later today, we’ll share details of a Nepal prayer gathering we hope to host in Belfast next week – Wednesday 6th. In the meantime, please do keep our partners in your prayers.

Thank you.

Click the following link to find out more about CMSI’s Nepal Earthquake Response Appeal

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