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Nepal: Finding strength in one another

The earthquakes that struck Nepal last April claimed the lives of 8,800 people and left 2.8 million people without a permanent place to call home. 

Many rural communities were cut off from relief for several days. Landslides and widespread devastation made it difficult to transport aid quickly. Millions were left without shelter, food or water. 

It was during this difficult time that some communities were able to organise their own survival response.

 

Chandra Ghale, 32, Gorkha

Sorley McCaughey

‘Once the earth had stopped shaking we helped rescue people buried in the rubble, removed the dead bodies and looked for the injured. For two or three days we lived a dreadful life. The roads were closed and no one came to the rescue. 

We began to clear the roads ourselves and formed a group to set up temporary shelters and request relief materials. When it finally arrived we distributed it according to the size of the family.’

 

Laxmi Gurung, 30, Gorkha

Sorley McCaughey

‘I have a hotel and we had stored food there so I was able to feed people in the days after the earthquake. Many neighbours gathered and I would cook for them. Everyone was hungry. When people were going through such a miserable time, I did not think twice about giving them food.’

 

Dhan Kumari Magar, 44, Gorkha

Sorley McCaughey

‘I helped to rescue a woman and her six-month old baby from a nearby house. They were trapped under the debris and the woman was unconscious. It was terrible to see them under the collapsed house. I also looked after the injured. I boiled water and helped clean their wounds. There were no medical supplies and we had to use old clothes as bandages.’

A year on, Christian Aid and our partners have reached more than 100,000 people across 7 districts, providing essential food including lentils, rice and cooking oil; hygiene material; cash grants for livelihood support; materials to help build safer shelters and latrines; and training so people can learn how to make their new homes more earthquake resistant.

 

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