Table of Contents
- 2017 Oct • Reflections after the Gorkha Earthquake
- 2017 August • Flooding in Nepal
- Jamuna Shrestha and Poonam Pokwal Visit Ohio
- A Story of Yad Gurung
- Experiences with the Bhutanese in Pittsburgh, PA USA
- Mini-Workshop with the Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh
- Planting Seeds of Peace
- Crisis in Darjeeling
- A Taste of Empowerment
- AVP Taste of Empowerment Mini-Workshop
- 2017 May-July • Jamuna Shrestha Visits with Resettled Bhutanese in the US
- Jamuna Shrestha to visit the US
- 2016 September • AVP trauma healing workshop
- 2015 November • Workshops help with recovery
- 2015 Oct • Beginning workshops for recovery
- 2015 Sept • Nepal is Beginning to Heal
- Seeking Discernment
- 2015 June • Vidya Sutton returns to Kathmandu after the earthquakes
- Trusting in the discernment of the local Nepalese
- Nepal Earthquake Relief Log
- Visiting communities to listen to stories of loss and repair destroyed hopes for survival
- Nepal Relief Update
- First batch of relief support is distributed in Nepal
- Update from today’s visit to a village
- April 2015 • Earthquakes hit Nepal
- 2015 March • Discernment workshop in Nepal
- Planned Nepal Friends Peace team • March – April 2015
- Bhutanese refugees struggle after relocating in the US
- 2014 Apr – May • Nepal
- 2013 December • Nepal Peace Team
- Training Facilitators for AVP Workshops in Refugee Camps in Eastern Nepal
- Struggles in the Lhotshampa Refugee Camps
- Lhotshampa Refugee History
- Supporting AVP Facilitators in Nepal
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
Here is a brief explanation on Nepal situation and the reason in delayed distribution of corrugated sheets in Lapilang village:
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
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.
• • • • • •
1 October 2015
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.
• • • • • •
19 July 2015
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2 July 2015
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.
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.
• • • • • •
2 June 2015
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.
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.
• • • • • •
24 May 2015
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 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.
• • • • • •
20 May 2015
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.
• • • • • •
18 May 2015
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.