published in EarthquakeNatural Disaster on April 4, 2018

Nepal Earthquake – three years on

It was ANZAC Day 2015 when a shattering 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal. The disaster killed nearly 9,000 people, injured 22,000 more people, and destroyed 750,000 houses.

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When the earth quakes

Within hours, the LWF (Lutheran World Federation) team our ALWS family supports in Nepal were delivering aid.

The response from the ALWS family was also immediate, and generous.

Together, working alongside churches of many denominations from around the world through ACT Alliance, emergency aid was delivered where it was needed most:

• Emergency shelter kits for 18,447 families

• Transitional shelters for 7,552 families

• 5,272 families supported to build toilets

• 18,447 families receive beds, bedding and kitchen utensils

• 10,592 hygiene kits distributed (toothbrush, toothpaste, bath soap, laundry soap, women’s underwear, sanitary napkins, bucket, mug)

• Repair / renovate / construct 66 village water schemes

• 1,291 Community-Based Psychosocial volunteers identified and trained …

• … who then give support to 4,793 adults and children

• 4,622 vulnerable families receive ready-to-eat food packets of rice, noodles and biscuits

• 6,353 families receive basic 30-day food ration of rice, lentils, vegetable oil, salt, sugar and fortified food

• 6,776 families receive cash support to resume family livelihoods

Of course, rebuilding after a disaster on this scale takes much longer.

Dr Prabin Manandhar, who headed the emergency response for LWF, observed:

“Reconstruction is not only about rebuilding homes, but also about rebuilding our heritage.”

That’s why ALWS continues now to take your help to families in need in Nepal – both those still recovering after the earthquake, and those trapped in poverty for other reasons.

Pasang Tamang is the young mum of two children. Though four people died in her village, and nearly all the houses were destroyed, her family survived.

Pasang is desperate families like hers are not forgotten. Even a year after the earthquake, Pasang and her children were struggling to survive in a hut she built from corrugated iron sheets and wood she recycled from her damaged house.

Each year, families like hers fear the damage the monsoons can bring when the shelter is flimsy:

“I hope we will get support in rebuilding our houses the traditional way, so we can survive in this cold, remote place.”

Your ALWS family support means our LWF Nepal partners can train people (including many women) in masonry. This will ensure houses have a strong structure when using locally available materials like stones, mud and wood.

At the same time you continue to work with families building Long Drop Loos, improving farming skills to increase income, and supporting communities in seeking basic human rights.

Photo: ACT/P. Jeffrey