Keeping Dry
Keeping Dry

Tarpaulins are like gold up in the mountains of Nepal at the moment.
With around 90% of the houses severely damaged or completely destroyed,
families like Ram Bahadur Ghale’s have been crowded together, four or
five families to a tarp. The pre-monsoon storms that arrive in May have
been making their lives even more miserable since the quake of 25 April.

Ram Bahadur’s village of Thulogaun in Lapa, north Dhading, is
home to about 450 households. It has been completely cut off since the
earthquake, with no road access, walking trails cut by boulders,
suspension bridges broken down. The villagers have had some relief food
supplies, but no tarps.
Back in Kathmandu, UMN’s procurement
team have been struggling to buy tarpaulins. They are as scarce as the
proverbial hen’s teeth; every organisation involved in relief work has
been snapping them up, even the cheap ones from the bazaar. We wanted to
provide good-quality tarps for the people of Lapa, knowing that it was
likely they’d need this shelter well into the monsoon – rebuilding in
those remote areas will take some time.

Thankfully, Samaritan’s
Purse came to the rescue, with 4000 tarps looking for a good home. A
perfect match! The tarps were delivered to our Thapathali office in
Kathmandu, and then dispatched to Dhading district headquarters.
how to get them up to Lapa? The small six-seater helicopters made
available by MAF had been wonderful, but clearly bigger loads were
needed. After much waiting and many phone calls and meetings, a World
Food Programme helicopter was made available. Within two days, Lapa has
received enough top quality tarps for each family, including Ram
A big thank-you to Samaritan’s Purse, and World Food
Programme. Families will be able to sleep dry at night, thanks to this
helpful partnership.

Ram Bahadur Ghale stands outside the ruins of
his house.

A truck of tarps arrives at Thapathali; they’re “as scarce as hen’s teeth” at the moment.

Reality for rural families in Nepal – life under a tarp.

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