Earthquake relief volunteering – Nuwakot

Following our return from Gorkha, we were desperate to get further supplies out to areas in dire need.  We began raising money and amassing supplies that would be most immediately needed in earthquake stricken areas.  The majority of aid groups from Pokhara seemed to be focusing on Gorkha, having suffered fairly severe damage and being easily accessible from Pokhara making it an obvious starting point.  On this basis we chose to aim a little further afield to ensure aid was reaching more remote districts, .

image001

On Monday May the 4th we piled 2 trucks with supplies to seemingly beyond their capacity, packed 3 jeeps with volunteers spanning 5 countries and headed for Nuwakot.  We spent the Monday night camped in a temporary army base, which had been formed following the earthquake.  This gave us an opportunity to coordinate with the army and ascertain a practical location to distribute our supplies from.  They informed us of a severely damaged school in Deurali, which be a good location to distribute to several villages in the surrounding area.
The following morning we spoke with the local VDC, they informed leaders of the local villages we would be arriving and we headed to the school to unload our supplies.  Once we arrived in the area villagers began arriving at a steadily growing rate; by the time our supplies were unloaded hundreds of locals had gathered in and around the school grounds.
image002

4 villages were represented by the people gathered, so it was necessary to be rigorous in ensuring that the supplies were distributed equitably.  We had been given rough estimates of village populations by the VDC earlier so that we had a starting point from which to work and by conferring with the leaders of each village we agreed a system everyone was happy with.  Supplies were divided to each village accounting for both overall population and severity of the damage caused by the earthquake.  The village leader was then to oversee that this was shared fairly amongst the families within that village.  This system worked perfectly allowing us to see some genuinely touching moments of compassion and sharing even in the wake of such devastating circumstances.  It is a true testament to the nature of the Nepali people.

image003

Once all of our supplies had been distributed we cleared up and headed back to the highway; the main body of our group returning to Pokhara, 4 of our members however continued on to Kathmandu to help friends in need there.

We arrived back in Pokhara in the early hours of the 6th, after a wholly enjoyable and rewarding trip but more importantly one which we could feel genuinely made a difference.  Here is a full list of the aid we supplied in Nuwakot:

 

  • 400 Blankets
  • 150 Tarpaulins
  • 1550kg of Lentils
  • 10,500 packs of Noodles
  • 450kg of Salt
  • 350kg of Sugar
  • 200L of Oil
  • 100 packs of Sanitary Towels
  • 1000 boxes of Matches
  • 2,400kg of Rice
  • 120kg of Razma Beans
  • 5 boxes of Candles
  • 300 containers of Tea