On the 25th April and the 12th May 2015 two devastating earthquakes hit Nepal and changed the lives of many people in a country which is very close to the heart of many of our staff and clients. Lives, homes and schools were lost and even as I write this, the ground is still shaking from time to time.
The country is struggling to get back on its feet and in autumn 2015 a fuel crisis has halted much relief work and has had a more devastating effect on the economy than the earthquake itself. Although the earthquake is no longer a major international news story, for so many Nepalis (including many of our local staff) their lives revolve around getting back on their feet.
Thanks to the incredible generosity of our many clients and friends, the Exodus Earthquake Appeal has had donations from more than 3,500 individuals and we have raised more than £260K. Exodus we were utterly humbled by this massive response which has enabled us to help our staff and many others.
Following the devastating earthquake on the 25th April 2015, Peter Burrell, the Exodus MD and myself (Valerie Parkinson, the Asia Operation Manager), spent a week in Nepal setting up our relief efforts. The first stage of relief work was to source tarpaulins for immediate emergency shelters. We took our local leaders on a relief run to Kaphal Chor, where we distributed tarpaulins, mattresses and food to families who had lost homes. Our local agent in Nepal, Karma Lama, managed to source more than 2000 tarpaulins, which we then distributed to our leaders together with relief money to go to their own villages and help people in most need.
Stage two of our relief work centred on providing more permanent shelter before the monsoons arrived. Tarpaulin was only ever going to be an immediate emergency solution. As the monsoon approached Nepalis needed a more permanent solution. Corrugated tin was the answer so we provided most of our staff with tin so that they could construct temporary shelters. As it became evident that families were going to be in temporary shelters for a while people adapted and enlarged the original tin shelters. They added wood and bamboo and many built a separate kitchen area.