What UMN is Doing #4
What UMN is Doing #4

We are very encouraged to report that we have been able to reach three of the most remote VDCs in Dhading district – Ree, Lapa and Jharlang. The distributions seem very small in comparison with the need, but it’s a start!

  • A convoy of 5 trucks and 2 tractors braved atrocious road conditions to travel up through Gorkha district to Chimchock, near Ree VDC, on Thursday last week. Breakdowns and punctures slowed down the group, which arrived late in the evening after more than 13 hours on the road. About 400 people from Ree had walked to Chimchock (3-4 hours), and were waiting for the distribution. Because most of the buildings were unsafe, the Ree people and the UMN team (staff, partner staff and volunteers, about 30 in all) had to spend the night in the open.
  • The next day, relief food was distributed to people from 433 households. This included rice, lentils, oil, beaten rice, sugar, spices, tea and salt. People are very anxious to get tarpaulins or tents, as it is cold at night, and the rains are coming. However, we are still awaiting delivery of the tarps and tents we have ordered. Another distribution, this time of hygiene kits, utensils and additional rice, will take place for the same people later this week. Tarps and blankets will be provided as soon as these arrive.
  • In Dhading district headquarters, our cluster team, along with other UMN staff seconded from their regular duties, are very busy receiving, sorting and packing relief materials. 660 bags of rice (25 kg each) arrived on Tuesday morning, and a big shipment of rice and non-food items is expected later on Tuesday. They are ably assisted by a large group of volunteers, and staff from partner organisations. Experience in Ree shows that people really appreciate the active involvement of local partners, people they know and trust, and who know them and their situation.
  • Thanks to Missionary Aviation Fellowship, helicopter flights have been taking food into Lapa and Jharlang VDCs over the last few days – seven flights on Saturday 9 May and 3 flights on Monday 11 May. These areas have been very hard hit by the earthquake and by landslides which followed it. Whole villages have disappeared, and many people died (it’s hard to understand just how many). Several people were injured when rocks fell on a church in Jharlang (the earthquake came towards the end of church time on Saturday 25 April).
  • Altogether, emergency food was distributed to 144 households in four villages of Jharlang and two villages of Lapa VDCs. There is no road access to these areas, and even the walking trails are blocked by broken suspension bridges and landslides. The MAF-hired helicopters are really too small to get adequate supplies in quickly enough, but larger helicopters are just not available, though we continue to press hard for access to them. Once again, people’s primary need is for tarpaulins, and these are proving very hard to get.
  • Now that food and non-food items are becoming available, distributions are planned for three VDCs in the south of Dhading district; Jeewanpur on Thursday 14 May, Mahadevsthan on Sunday 17 May, and Pida on Monday 18 May.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *