The first phase of Stage 1 of our deployment has now been completed. 123 tents and associated aid equipment, including building materials, have been distributed to the villages previously identified. This has been a complex deployment given the time and unpredictability involved in travel between the villages. A further problem has been the limited amount of suitable terrain to erect tents which often requires extensive land clearance to take place beforehand.
When the team first arrived, Kathmandu was essentially a pile of rubble empty of people – unless an aftershock caused people to run into the empty spaces. Now there is some semblance of relative normality. However, in contrast to the hope and expectation that our team were initially greeted with, this has now to turned to impatience and panic as people, who are still in need of appropriate shelter, face the monsoon which is about to start.
The monsoon will create serious difficulties. Normally many villages are cut off during the monsoon and, given the damage to the roads caused by the earthquake, this is anticipated to become a very serious problem. The pre-monsoon rains have already caused several significant landslides.
Dave Tuzewski and Peter Hazell have now handed over to Di Holland (Team Leader) and Jenny Greer are from Australia and Michael McKeever from the US. Their task will be to adapt our deployment to accommodate the impact of the forthcoming monsoon and to use local solutions where possible. A particular issue is that the Nepalese government has placed an embargo on permanent construction in order to set up new procedures to ensure that new buildings are designed to resist future earthquakes. This means that we now have to be thinking in terms of transitional shelter solutions. In most cases, the deployment of more tents is impractical given the transport difficulties and the lack of suitable space to erect them. The team will
therefore be looking at how to provide those in need with appropriate building materials and how these can be best distributed. There is an identifiable need for corrugated sheeting, which has already been deployed by the first team, but the current challenge is how to best source this as it is currently in very short supply. One option that will also be considered is how best to fund local brick making facilities. A further task will be to assess the local water filtration solutions which are more cost effective but heavier to transport than the ones we supply.
The second team will continue to work closely with our partners, Community Developmnent and Relief Agency (CDRA) , to implement this current deployment. It is anticipated that Stage 2 of our deployment will take place in September after the monsoon when more permanent shelter solutions will be required. The team will therefore also be undertaking preparatory work for Stage 2 as well as exploring options of how we can provide ongoing support through CDRA or other agencies in the interim.
This deployment is set to be a long term engagement for us given the delays caused by the forthcoming monsoon and it’s likely impact on terrain already destabilised by the Monsoon. Please make a donation if you can to help us with this ongoing commitment.