Nepal earthquake: the damage
Saturday’s earthquake has caused swathes of damage across large areas of central Nepal. In addition to the widely covered destruction in and around Kathmandu, entire Himalayan villages are reported to have been devastated by the initial disaster and its aftershocks. A lack of communications and limited access to rural areas mean that the full extent of the ruin remains unclear.
How we must respond
With our staff’s safety confirmed, our immediate priority is ensuring the wellbeing of our Gurkha beneficiaries, their families and communities. Today, teams set out from a number of our Welfare Centres to trek into the hills and attempt to reach isolated veterans. Our Welfare Officers will equally provide local situation reports for the national response coordination.
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Our staff and facilities are assisting with wider relief efforts wherever possible. In particular, our medical staff have been re-deployed to the most heavily affected areas – notably Gorkha, Lamjung and Bagmati (where Kathmandu is located). We will provide all possible medical aid over the coming days.
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There are many disaster relief organisations working on the ground to mitigate the effects of the earthquake. As soon as the immediate danger is averted, we must also consider the long-term repercussions of this tragedy and how best to rebuild:
Our Welfare Pensioners’ homes. Reports property destruction are already mounting – we must distribute emergency hardship grants to help pensioners cope with their loss.
Our projects. At times like these, the need for access to water is higher than ever – we must do what we can to ensure that our rural water supply systems are intact and operational. We must equally guarantee the security of our school projects.
Our own infrastructure. There has been significant damage to our Welfare Centres in the most heavily affected regions – we must not allow this to impede our ability to provide relief.