Asia Association of Education and Exchange

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Report on the Relief Assistance for the People affected by Nepal Earthquake, 2015

Report on the Relief Assistance for the People affected by Nepal Earthquake, 2015

Sharad Kumar Sharma[1]

Asia Association of Education and Exchange (hereafter AAEE) has been conducting its activities in Nepal extensively for the last 8 years in Nepal. The aim of AAEE is to promote interlinkages between students of Asia. In keeping with this primal aim, it has been conducting various activities between Japanese students and other students of other parts of Asia. Nepal, from the very inception of the organization, has been one of the regions for the cultural exchange between students.

On 25th April, 2015, several area of Nepal, including the capital Kathmandu, was hit by a severe Earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale. Till date, over 8,500 people have died as a result of the quake.[2] Kathmandu valley, has undergone major damages to its cultural heritages in the UNESCO world heritage sites such as the Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Boudhanath Stupa. A major landmark of Nepalese culture – the 9 storied Dharara collapsed killing more than 300 people in a single site.

Thousands more have been left homeless and stranded. Many schools – especially in village areas – have been destroyed or have been severely damaged, with no condition to hold further classes. Even the schools which are in good condition have been shut down due to governmental decree and are scheduled to pen in late May/early June.

The Team

Following the Earthquake, the author collaborated with his private contacts to begin relief works. Due to formalized reporting mechanism and bookkeeping they were not able to collaborate with most organizations. The team primarily consisted of personal contacts. Due to availability and reduced cost needs – the team decided to conduct medical camps around Kathmandu city. After conducting preliminary scouting, the team started the camps as soon as three days after the earthquake. The team consists generally of :
a)      Certified Doctors (usually two or more)
b)      Nurses (four to five)
c)      Pharmacist
d)     Volunteers (usually five or higher)
e)      Driver and Assistant

Except the driver and his assistant, all other team members work voluntarily. A minimal amount of the donations received is utilized in a single meal which the team eats during the day.

AAEE Special Project Team
The Support of AAEE

The team was buying medical supplies on their own and also being donated by private individuals from Birgunj, Nepal. This was however, sufficient only for camps around Kathmandu valley. The demand of tarps was high outside Kathmandu, which would provide shelter to people.

After conducting camps for over a week, AAEE President Mr. Akinori Seki and his team were able to promise monetary relief to Nepal. After conducting various charity programs in May 5th, the President sent JPY 50,000 (roughly around NRs 40,000) to the author.

This significant amount of donation was utilized in buying of tarps, medicines and travel cost for such relief activity. The team was able to provide medical help in Nigalpani in Dhading district. This district is one of the most severely hit region of the Earthquake. Total 30 tarps were bought and 5 of the tarps were sent to be distributed to Okharpawa VDC of Nuwakot, another severely affected region of the Earthquake. Each tarp costs NRs. 800 and were bought from Biratnagar in Southern Nepal – as they were unavailable in Earthquake hit regions. Each tarp can provide shelter for 4 individuals.

Besides this, medicines bought were used in Dhading VDC – and was used in Lakure Bhanjyang VDC, Lalitpur and Sipadol VDC, Bhaktapur.

Glimpses and Description of Medical Camps

1)      Nigalpani, Dhading

It takes nearly 5 and a half hours to reach the destination from Kathmandu. The team was able to distribute tarps, and provide medical care. Over 300 people were directly benefited with the assistance of locals to identify target groups.

2)      Lakure Bhanjyang, Lalitpur

Almost every house we saw; and some of my friends and I went further along for an hour by foot to inform more people, was badly damaged.  Several cut wounds and injuries were still prevalent, which surprised the team, for the village's proximity from Lalitpur and the time since the quake. The team also handed out water purification tablets with specific and strict guidelines of proper use.

3)      Sipadole, Bhaktapur

This was the day after the 7.3 earthquake in the valley. There were over 70 patients in the camp. Sipadole is quite near to the valley, but the houses are quite damaged. The locals actively assisted the team.

Conclusion and Acknowledgements

The camps in the 3 locations benefited over 300 people affected by the Earthquake. The tarps bought off the generous donations raised off the charity program provided shelter to over 100 people. These people would be the highly vulnerable groups who have lost their permanent shelters due to the earthquake. They will be using those tarps till any alternate housing facilities are not found – either self built or built by external assistance (government or donor agencies).

The author sincerely would like to thank all members of AAEE and the generous support of students of Japan for assisting in this endeavor. The author would like to acknowledge the assistance and calm guidance of President of AAEE, Prof. Akinori Seki. We create our world – a message from the Himalayas.

[1] The Author is the Country Coordinator of Asia Association of Education and Exchange (AAEE) for Nepal. He has been carrying out the on field relief works for the AAEE in Nepal.
[2], Reuters Article on Nepal Earthquake, dated 17th May

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