Nepal: Assessing Needs on the Ground
Four days after a massive 7.8 earthquake devastated central Nepal, our international development team is on the ground evaluating needs and distributing aid to those desperate for help. Here’s a small glimpse of what they saw today.
All throughout Kathmandu, people are sleeping in tents in makeshift tent cities . . . hundreds of thousands of flimsy tents that offer no protection from the elements and very little safety
Most have not returned to their homes—either because they were destroyed, or simply out of fear, as there have been dozens of aftershocks since Saturday’s initial quake. In fact, the children in one of our local sponsorship programs will be spending the night inside this evening for the first time since the disaster.
The sponsored children of Grace Home making the best of a sobering situation.
The sad reality is that this will be how thousands live for weeks, even months during the rebuilding process. With the rainy season only weeks away, this presents an enormous challenge.
Still, the Nepali people are resilient, strong, and eager to begin putting their lives back together. Everywhere we looked, people were sorting through pieces of rubble trying to find salvageable building materials.
We met the Marhagin family, who lost both their home and store in the earthquake. All eight people living in the house survived, but now they have nothing. Several are elderly and unable to help with the physical labor of rebuilding. For now, they are sleeping in a tent in their neighbor’s front yard . . . their new reality.
Although Kathmandu has its own set of daunting obstacles, the real need exists in surrounding rural villages, where the death toll (now reaching over 5,200 in total) is the highest. All available helicopters are being used to transport the dead from these remote places . . . a sobering reality every time you look into the sky.
In Chaku village, where we have several outreaches, over 2,000 and counting have been found under the rubble of landslides. It is here that we believe the need for relief—both short and long term—will be the greatest.
We are already working in this area and others distributing food, water, tents, and medicines. But needs are absolutely overwhelming, with at least 8 million people in 39 districts across Nepal being directly affected.
An outpouring of support will be required in the coming weeks and months in order for these people to survive. In total, the UN predicts 1.7 million children are in need of immediate humanitarian aid.
Please continue to pray for people of Nepal and for our partners here. So many are still in shock, unable to come to grips with the grim reality of the situation. It’s absolutely heartbreaking.
Even so, there are glimpses of hope everywhere. Our sponsored children are safe. They are still smiling. They remind us of how much we have to be grateful for.
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