Table of Contents

Nepal Earthquake Relief Log

Our in-country coordinator in Nepal, Subhash Kattel, has been sending updates on his work when he can. Follow his news here, we will be updating this page as new information is available.

If you are interested in donating to this cause please visit our donation page under the Get Involved tab. Thank you!

 

5 January 2016

Friends,

Here is a brief explanation on Nepal situation and the reason in delayed distribution of corrugated sheets in Lapilang village:

District representative of 'Educate the Children', Mr. Chandi, preparing to unload corrugated sheets from the truck.

Volunteers from 'Educate the Children' making arrangements and distributing coupons to the people in the distribution location near the village before handing over the corrugated sheets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nepal was hit by a 7.9 magnitude destructive earthquake in April 25. FPT AWP immediately stared it’s relief support to the earthquake affected people, specially to the disadvantage communities in remote areas. This story is documented in our report as well as out website in detail. Our last phase of support was planned to deliver 725 bundles of corrugated sheets to the 725 families. But then the good quality sheets were unavailable in the market because of excessive demand from everywhere. So, we ordered the sheets in the factory and waited.

In September 20th, Nepal promulgated it’s new constitution for the first time by an elected constituent assembly. The constitution was welcomed by some people and some specially in the Madesh/Terai remained (Southern plain area) unhappy with it for the reason that the constitution is unable to address their aspiration and need. India also did not welcomed the constitution, and just said- ‘we have noted’. On 23 of September, Madesh based political parties started their agitation and forced blockade in most of the Indian boarders and customs. India also forced this unofficial blockade from their side. Supply of fuels- diesel, petrol, cooking gas, kerosene, and other items for daily uses including food items were blocked; even medicine could not be transported to Nepal. This sometimes violent agitation and blockade remained an extremely bad experience to Nepali people. It was inhumane. The black market thrived to the highest level. The price of almost everything skyrocketed. It created a humanitarian crisis in Nepal. Almost all relief works for the earthquake survivors was severely affected including our plan of supplying corrugated sheets to Lapilang village. Some information about the blockage is available on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Nepal_blockade

People from Lapilang village collecting their share of corrugated sheets

 

People preparing to carry the bundle on their back to the village. Some of the villagers who could not afford to pay 2 dollars/bundle in local transportation fees to the small trucks decided to carry the load on their back to their village. This couple had to walk for about two hours from the place we delivered to them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The blockade is now almost over, but unofficially. Officially, the agitators and India are yet to announce it. But, it will take some more weeks to get things back in normal. The agitators and government are in dialogue to resolve the issue. India is also looking for a safe landing of it’s unofficial blockade because it was criticized worldwide.

Because of this situation, FPT AWP in Nepal had to delay it’s relief plan execution. Finally, on 30th December 2015, we supplied the corrugated sheets to the Lapilang village. We ended up paying little more on transportation then planned. Because, there is still fuel crisis in Nepal and the transport companies are charging more than before. The price of the corrugated sheets are also increased but we did not have to pay the increased price because we had paid our all amount to the company for our order before the increment in price.

After an unexpectedly long wait, this week we delivered 725 bundles of corrugated sheets for 725 families in Lapilang village, in Dolkha district.

In Lapilang, we worked together with the local women’s groups, an organization named ‘Educate the Children’ and teachers from local higher secondary school. These groups facilitated the local arrangements from the very beginning to the end voluntarily.

We also collaborated with with the Child Welfare Nepal in Hetauda district which provided 200 bundles of corrugated sheets for Lapilang village. We bought 525 bundles.

Because of fuel shortage and increased cost of transportation, we had to spend more money than we planed to transport this supply. Most of the vehicles, including trucks, in Nepal are using diesel from the gray or black market. And, the price of diesel in such market is increased somewhere between 50% to 300% compare to the pre-blockage time.

I hope this explains the story.

in friendship
Subhash

A line of people walking towards the Lapilang village with their load.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 1 October 2015

Namaste Friends,

We are struggling to complete the last phase of relief/recovery effort in which we planned to provide corrugated sheets to earthquake survivors in Lapilang village in Dolkha district. The factory we ordered the sheets from has not been able to deliver them to our location because of the ‘unofficial’ blockade of diesel and petrol from the Indian government in response to their unhappiness with our new constitution. It is very sad that the Indian government still has a colonial mindset over Nepal. http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/news/2015-10-01/losing-focus.html

This affected production and transportation of the sheets from the factory. In addition, the factory is located in the area where there is violence and curfews because of agitations going on in the Southern plain side of Nepal. Political leaders and people there are very unhappy and protesting our new constitution. We ordered the sheets from this factory because we received a 13.5% discount on the price which is a huge amount to save for other works in Friends Peace Teams – AWP. The governments and the agitating parties are working to resolve the issues, but the suffering in public is deepening. We hope this will end soon. Soon thereafter we will be able to deliver the sheets to the village.

Therefore, I will go ahead and complete a report of our relief/recovery work in Nepal, but it will not cover this final phase. As soon as we resolve this matter, we will send a final addendum to the relief/recovery report.

We appreciate all the people who have supported us and are patiently waiting news.

In friendship

Subhash

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19 July 2015

Friends,
Last week, we facilitated ‘Practical Steps for Psycho-social Well-being’ workshop followed by 3 AVP Basic workshops for about 60 women social leaders from different parts of the country. About half of them were from the earthquake affected area and rest were from other parts. Until the day before the workshops began, we were assuming that women from less affected areas may not need psycho-social well-being support; but we were wrong!  When some of our facilitators gathered with women on the first day and heard their stories, our team’s discernment on the evening reached the conclusion that it was necessary to include all.  More importantly, we all- the facilitators and the host organization- were open enough to discuss and discern until last minute about what is the best we can offer to the participants at this time of difficulty and how! That openness led us to the rich discernment and best possible contribution we could make to the group.
We did a day long exercise/activity called ‘The Tree of Life’ about which our facilitators Ken, Jamuna, Sita, Indira and Anuradha were well experienced. This exercise uses a tree as analogy to human life and trees are so much familiar and close to all. At the beginning, participants were invited to draw a tree as their own life in a sheet of newsprint and go through stages of reflection of their lives and record on their own words in their tree of life.  Tree is divided into roots, land/surface, trunk, branches, leaves, and fruits. Normally, participants are invited to look at their present life as surface/land/ground and note the roles they are playing in person/family/society. Then, participants start looking at their history as roots, explore what factors (mostly positive) played a significant role in shaping/forming their present life. Followed by their skills (this can be anything like cooking, facilitation, social leadership, singing, etc.) and note them on trunk. Trunk is what supports them to stand and play their present roles in life. Then participants write their hopes/dreams/goals in branches. Their support groups/persons are mentioned in leaves, and fruits as gifts in life. Until this stage participants work on their own. Then they gather in a big circle. All the trees are now posted around the wall and all participants are invited to look at each others’ trees. Again coming back to a big circle, a short discussion is initiated by a facilitator, then in the whole group, a brainstorm is facilitated on what difficulties and challenges a human being like us are facing now, or may face. At the end of the day we celebrate, through singing and dancing, what we see and discover about our lives. 

Concept of this exercise is to facilitate participants’ psycho-social well-being and help them on their own to deal with their traumatic/stressful experiences in life without really re-living them. Therefore, our group decided to do ‘The Tree of Life’ which helps participants to look at traumatic experiences from the river bank (‘trauma’ being the river). This exercise powerfully brings back the lost/blocked strengths and capacity of participants in dealing with difficult situations in life. Frightening and scary experiences like the recent mega earthquake in Nepal could lead people to loose/forget their strengths and disturb psycho-social well- being. 

This exercise was developed in Africa, originally to help children who lost their parents because of HIV and AIDS. Our AVP facilitators Tshering and Niva’s organization ‘Women Power Development Center’ hosted 5 day residential workshops. Nine facilitators, Jamuna, Ken, Indira, Anuradha, Sita, Vidya, Niva, Tshering and Subhash also facilitated 3 AVP basic workshops for two full days as the second part of the workshop package. Participants said they liked everything- the program, content, and the approach. All were very happy to end the workshops with light heart and happiness in times of difficulty and stress. Some of the participants wanted to do AVP advanced and even trained as facilitators. We all are very much satisfied by this opportunity. Thanks to the Women Power Development Center for inviting us to make this wonderful contrubution, to our facilitators Niva and Tshering for their initiation, and most importantly to the women social leaders who came from far away to participant in the workshops and left behind their families and responsibilities for few days. We hope the participants will be able to take the skills they learned during these 5 days back to help the local people in their respective communities back home. 

in friendship
Subhash and all team members

 

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2 July 2015

Friends,

We have confirmed to facilitate a Trauma Resilience workshop for women from earthquake affected areas. On July 11-12-13, about 60 women social workers will be gathered in Dhulikhel- an hour and half drive from Kathmandu- for the workshops. About 24 women will be from earthquake affected areas. And the rest from other parts of the country. We have planned AVP basic(s) for participants in other areas.

It is expected that at the end of the workshop the women social workers participating in Trauma Resilience workshop will be guided about how they can use their experiences and skills gained from the workshop in their villages to help many other people deal with their losses, stress and trauma.

Jamuna, Ken, Vidya, Indira, Niva, Tshering, Subhash and probably Bina will be facilitating the workshops.

An organization called ‘Women Power Development Center‘, where our two facilitators Niva and Tshering are working, is hosting these residential workshops. So, there will be no expenses from our relief fund.

In addition,

We have received a request for another 7 workshops for the family members of physically/mentally disabled people in earthquake affected areas. Our facilitator Kishor is leading and dealing with this through his newly joined organization. We are yet to finalize whether we will be doing Trauma Resilience or AVP workshops; there is a high possibility toward the Trauma Resilience workshops.

in friendship,

Subhash

 

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Men carrying their share of zink sheet in Barabise village. June 2015

2 June 2015

Friends,

Last week, we distributed 75 bundle (900 pieces) of zink sheet for temporary shelter to 75 families in 3 communities of Sindhupalchok district. Subhash from FPT-AWP, Mrs. Kaplana Karki from CSRC, Mr. Nawaraj Timilsina from NLRF and Mrs. Bhoteni from NLRF were leading the distribution process. People will use their skills, and material from demolished houses to make their roofing better and will have better sleep and protection of what they have including their babies, children, cattle and some food they have received and saved.

 

Friends in Ramche village of Sindhupalchok were waiting for us in the night to receive zink sheet. Women seen in the right of the picture is Mrs. Bhoteni, leader of village level activist of NLRF. June 2015

People who have been tilling and staying in landlord’s land received this support. When we were there, in the night, we not only experienced hits of about 4.5 rector scale earthquakes twice but also big winds, rain and frightening lighting. And that was a scary and sad moment for us to experience what the quake-affected families have to live with! At the same time, it was satisfying that we were supporting these community to save them from the rain onward.

in friendship,
Subhash

 

 

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Distributing rice sacks; 24 May 2015, Photo credit, Subhash

24 May 2015

Friends,

During the last 5 days, six volunteers of our team distributed immediate relief package to 372 families in four different villages of Ramechap district. The package included 372 pieces of tarpaulin tent for immediate shelter plus 4890 kg rice (about 13.3 kg per family), and special nutritious package for 25 pregnant and women with new born babies. The divested families walked down for about 3 hours from the high hills to collect relief material. All these families are from extremely poor economic background, socially, culturally and politically disadvantaged. They all are part of National Land Rights Forum (NLRF). NLRF is doing nonviolent movement in Nepal for justice over long run structural and cultural violence. Community Self-Reliance Center (CSRC) is facilitating this process at the central office to the grass root level through their trustable network.

Our local volunteers providing coupons to relief receivers in Khimti village to systemize the distribution.; 24 May 2015, Photo credit, Subhash

Our discernment process for this decision included Subhash, Mrs. Kalpana Karki from CSRC, Mr. Bishnu Nisthuri, and two local NLRF activists Ms. Samita Biswakarma and Mrs. Nirmala Tamang from the affected area. At first, we managed to contact local activists and asked what are the most important needs you have right now are. The answer was: tents for shelter, and food.

The zinked tin sheet would have been the best option for temporary shelter but on one hand, we could not afford that for 372 families and on the other hand, zinked tin sheets are in scarcity. Therefore, we had to decide to provide tarpaulin tent to the families for their immediate shelter.

In friendship,
Subhash

 

 

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20 May 2015

Friends,
We are extremely busy with delivering relief support to different parts of the country. Therefore, I am unable to write a detailed update.

On 18th May, we visited to Sindhupalchok district and distributed relief package to 159 families. The package included rice, Dal (lentil), blankets and clothes for women. Material was collected by poor people from other parts of the country unaffected by the quake. These people are affiliated with a nonviolent land reform movement in Nepal under ‘National Land Rights Forum’. CSRC is coordinating/supporting the relief support for these people. As I already informed you, I am coordinating together with CSRC in some selected areas because they are a very good network in the field and are honest people.

From our part, I added 75 kg of lentil in this package. That cost USD131. See attached photos of the area.

On the 19th and 20th, we prepared for our trip to Ramechap district. We are leaving Kathmandu at 5:30am tomorrow morning. We have plan and prepared package for 294 families and 25 women with infants, and pregnant women.

It may take 2-3 days for us to come back. I will update the rest later.

In friendship,
Subhash

 

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18 May 2015

Friends,
The roads to villages are now getting cleared up [after the second major earthquake] so that we can and have made plans to start visiting communities again.

As I have informed you earlier, I am cooperating with National Land Rights Forum (NLRF) for support with the most important supplies for the quake affected families in Sindhupalchok. Last week, we had a meeting with them and had a plan for needs assessment. Based on that information, we plan to go to a community named Sanjeltar. It is a community of 23 families. All of them are landless, disadvantaged community called ‘Majhi’ (fishermen). They were tilling others land and are very poor. They urgently need shelter.

NLRF has collected some food from other landless people from other parts of the country and carried it to Kathmandu. It is very important to help them with necessary zink/tin and nails for their shelter roofing. The community has other necessary raw material from their damaged houses including labor skill to construct the shelter.
We want to supply zink/tin for these 23 families.

For this, I have checked my local discernment with Mrs. Kalpana Karki, the person with whom I visited the community last week and works for Community Self Reliance Center (CSRC- the organization supporting NLRF), and Mr. Bishnu Nisthuri.

In friendship,
Subhash