Assessment teams return
Assessment teams return

UMN’s intrepid Assessment Teams returned from North Dhading last week.

the best of times, and even for Nepal, North Dhading is remote. Five
VDCs cover the steep slopes of the Himalayas, right up to the Tibetan
border. Road access is limited to a couple of access points only.
Usually, goods and people get to the north via narrow walking trails
across steep gullies spanned by swinging suspension bridges.
is not the best of times. The earthquakes of April and May wreaked
havoc with the geography, triggering landslides that blocked the paths,
carrying some of them down into the valleys below. Suspension bridges
were pounded by falling rocks, support blocks broken and cables twisted
and strained. Slopes are still unstable; falling rocks are a constant
hazard, and picking one’s way over the loose gravel left by landslides
is quite frightening.

To make matters worse, the monsoon has
arrived. Already weakened slopes are even more prone to slippage. The
ground is cracked in many places, and the rumble of  landslides
reverberates through the valleys. Rivers have risen, rendering many
impassible. And then there are the usual monsoon perils; slippery, muddy
paths, leaky roofs, and leeches!

Three assessment teams
travelled to Ree, Lapa and Jharlang VDCs to collect data on the current
situation and the needs of communities to inform our planning for the
next two years of recovery and rehabilitation work. They walked for days
in treacherous terrain, slept with families in temporary shelters, and
met with dozens of community groups. They visited damaged schools and
health posts, and got first-hand experience of the problems of
communication and transport. Their professionalism was stretched by the
conditions they experienced and their hearts were touched by what they
saw and heard.

Over the next few days, we’ll be sharing some of their stories with you.

continue to remember the people of the north, as they struggle to put
their lives back together. And pray for UMN, as we work out how we can
best support them.

Communication can be difficult. Thakur grabs the opportunity to read his email.

Nirmala and Bina brace one of the damaged suspension bridges.

Pratiksha (right) works with a group of women to prioritise their needs.

Read more story!

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