“We will make Nepal rise and shine again.” Rise Nepal
Two weeks after the April 25th earthquake, local and international relief agencies are in a race against time. Challenging terrain has slowed down aid distribution and Nepal’s monsoon season is estimated to hit in four to six weeks.
According to an update by OCHA, in addition to immediate relief supplies such as food and water, the need to establish shelters for displaced families is becoming critical. OCHA is starting to coordinate their efforts with local community leaders to help speed up the distribution process and ensure remote communities have what they need before travel becomes even more difficult.
The challenge is daunting. #RiseNepal, a volunteer campaign coordinated by the Global Peace Foundation – Nepal and other members of the Asia Pacific Peace and Development Service Alliance reported an acute shortage of tents and other alternative shelters; furthermore, it is uncertain whether such shelters can withstand the impending rains.
After assessing the need, #RiseNepal has begun dispatching volunteer teams to build transitional shelters. On May 7, the first team reached the village of Karesthali in the northern Kathamndu valley. The nearest thoroughfare to the village is 3km.
It was a real test of ingenuity, resourcefulness and teamwork. Local residents and experts worked side by side with #RiseNepal volunteers to haul, cut, dig, nail and tie pieces together to raise transitional shelters. They scraped what they could from the houses’s remains and gathered bamboo poles from nearby hills. They worked non-stop for three days in the sun to raise seven shelters.
In addition to the transitional shelters, the volunteers brought relief supplies such as solar-lanterns, clothing and food.
#RiseNepal continues to coordinate volunteer efforts to match the needs of communities not only in Kathmandu central, but also the surrounding valley. A number of teams have been the first to reach remote villages with relief supplies.
To date, #RiseNepal has mobilized, trained and dispatched over 300 volunteers. The volunteers have provided medical services, sanitation awareness campaigns, rubble removal, distribution of relief supplies, food services, engineering expertise to assess infrastructural damages to houses, IT support, and now a team to build transitional shelters.
#RiseNepal volunteers are in inspiring example of the indomitable spirit of Nepal.
For a clip of the coverage by Nepali news Avenues TV Nepal go here.