Rural Areas Devastated by Nepal Quake, Relief Efforts Challenged
Rural areas devastated by Nepal quake, relief efforts challenged by distance, blocked roads, steep mountainsides.
- 25 percent of one village’s population still missing
- Search and rescue teams haven’t reached remote areas
- World Vision airlifting supplies for 100,000 people and began distributing blankets and shelter materials yesterday
As World Vision teams reached remote villages outside of Kathmandu, Nepal this morning after days of trying, they found extensive damage desperate need for basic survival supplies.
Some of the most remote villages can be as much as a three-day walk from other towns, even when the roads are clear. In one village, all of the town’s 176 homes were destroyed and 25 percent of the population is still missing. Search and rescue operations have yet to move into these rural areas and time is running out for those who have not yet been found.
World Vision’s Matt Darvas reached the village of Gorkha yesterday. “They’re telling me, ‘No one is getting in and no one is getting out,’” he said. “Children are hungry, but most families store their food supplies in their homes, so when their homes collapsed, they lost their access to food.”
“These villages are scattered and dotted along steep mountainsides, and even helicopters are having difficulty landing with the heavy cloud cover,” said Darvas.
World Vision had supplies pre-positioned in warehouses in Nepal and elsewhere in Asia. Yesterday, the aid group began distributing shelter materials and blankets for about 1,000 families. Additional supplies are being airlifted from a regional warehouse and include hygiene kits, cooking kits, mosquito nets, sleeping bags and sleeping mats, buckets and water purification tablets.
World Vision plans to reach some 100,000 people in Bhaktapur, Gorkha, Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Lamjung districts with relief supplies, shelter, clean water and sanitation, and child protection, education and health programs.
The organization will also establish Child Friendly Spaces, in Kathmandu, Lamjung and Gorkha. These spaces are safe areas set up for play, music and activities for children so that they have a safe place to go while their families are in transition.
World Vision is accepting donations to support its response to the earthquake. Donations can be made at www.worldvision.org, by texting NEPAL to 777444 (makes an automatic $10 donation), or by calling 1-888-562-4453 (1-888-56-CHILD).
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