Nepal Update: September 2015 Report

At September’s LED Trustees meeting, Val provided her report on this year’s activities in Nepal so far, and plans for the current season.

Our focus has been on providing practical relief following the April 25 earthquake and its aftershocks:

  • Distribution of over 5 tonnes of donated items collected in Penrith in April / May.  The tents were distributed in Dolakha (west of Khumbu, one of the areas badly affected by the May earthquake), Gorkha and Nuwakot (60 km from Kathmandu, where nearly all buildings were flattened by the April earthquake) providing short term housing / shelter for 3500 people.
  • Building temporary shelters in Dolakha and Nuwakot .
  • Shelter sheets to house school children in Nuwakot district – resulting in 1500 kids being in school throughout this year’s monsoon.
  • Support for Dr Karmi Temba’s rebuilding work in Thame, the worst affected village in Khumbu, where he led the rebuilding the health clinic and helped to reestablish school. The big marquee tents which we received as donations meant that the children of Thame have been in school all monsoon.
  • Weekly meals for displaced Gorkha families in Pokhara
  • 600+ solar lights distributed – primarily in Solu and Gorkha areas (before and after the earthquake)
  • Training for 2 Nepali volunteers on earthbag building.

Big thanks go to Val’s friends in Nepal who’ve been our operators on the ground:

  • Gelek Rapten and Tenzing Lamo – organising the building of the school shelters in Nuwakot
  • Tenzing and Tsten – for the weekly meals to the Gorkha families in Pokhara
  • Tsering Sherpa – for all his help in Dolakha
  • Krishna Cook – for all his help in Nuwakot
  • Dr Karmi Temba – for all his work in Thame

and to everyone who gave time, money, things and support in the UK and Canada in the immediate aftermath of the earthquakes.

Facebook proved essential for sharing updates on progress on a day to day basis, and photos from LED activities in Penrith and Nepal. Here are some of them:

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Plans and projects

Val returned to Nepal in early October, and is currently visiting Thame and Khunde in the Khumbu region to see how things are in the ground. She’ll then be running her first set of treks in the region since the earthquake.  Access to Manaslu and Tsum, close to the epicentre of April’s earthquake, remains difficult. One of Val’s priorities is to find out more about the current status of logistics and infrastructure in the area.

Our plans for the coming 6 months are:

  • To help with rebuilding in the Gorkha district, focusing on the Tsum valley, and using earthbag building and the two Nepalis we’re had trained in this technique.
  • To help with rebuilding Junbesi school. Four Canadian volunteers will be spending a month in Junbesi (Solu district, on the old Everest walk in) rebuilding part of the village school and the hostels that house the school children and teachers. Gelek Rapten, together with the Edmund Hillary Trust and UK volunteers, visited Junbesi at the end of September to assess the situation on the ground and what’s required.
  • To continue to provide and to distribute solar lights and school supplies:
  • Solar lighting engineer, Anthony, has sent 400 lights more for Val to distribute this season, to which we are able to add the lights we assemble in Nepal
  • In November, Val will lead a private trek to distribute 300 solar lights and school supplies in the Solu district.
  • In Manaslu, we will:
    • provide the annual school supplies for Samagaun and Samdo schools, and lights. Our plan to do this distribution in December.
    • rebuild Samagaun school
  • We are also exploring the possibility of building, staffing and supplying a health clinic in Tsum valley.

We’ll report back in December.

In the meantime, thank you to everyone who is fundraising for us, and for Nepal – follow us on Facebook and Twitter for details and updates.