Help by helicopter
Help by helicopter

For two weeks, the villagers of Jharlang have been waiting.

remote VDC in north Dhading has been completely cut off since the
earthquake of 25 April. With no road access, with suspension bridges
broken and walking paths blocked by landslides and rocks, there was just
no way in. At last, thanks to Missionary Aviation Fellowship, UMN’s
Ramji Bhandari and our partner HIMS’ Silas Tamang were able to fly in
by helicopter on Saturday.
Yowan Tamang was one of the first to
greet them when they arrived at Kokhim, home to 40 households. Most of
the houses have been destroyed; no other relief has arrived, so 4 or 5
families are sharing the shelter of the few tarpaulins they had. The
farmers in this area grow enough food for only about 6-8 months of the
year (wheat, potato and corn) so many, like Yowan, go to the Gulf states
for labouring work to supplement the family income.
Yowan was
at home when the earthquake struck. He is grateful that his family
survived, but very worried about the future. They all are. The monsoon
will be coming soon, and they fear landslides, a normal concern in this
steep country, but even more so now that the earth has been shaken.
Disease is another worry. Already people are suffering from diarrhoea.
small helicopters are ideal for this rugged mountainous region, but
they can’t carry much. Three loads of lentils, sugar, noodles, salt,
spices, tea, oil and rice – enough for 35 families – will be helpful,
but so much more is needed. Ramji and Silas will stay here, walking out
to neighbouring villages to assess the needs – and there are many!

MAF flights will be going in over the next few days. Those red
“choppers” will be a very welcome sight in the far-flung villages of

Devastation. 30 of the 40 houses in the village
are either completely destroyed, or too unsafe to live in.

Scores of people line the terraces to see the
helicopter arrive. Yowan Tamang (front, white cap) was one of the first.

Yowan Tamang

Silas Tamang helps unload

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