Intense rainfall, flash flooding, landslides, and difficult traveling conditions. Nepal, devastated by two major earthquakes, is suddenly in the grip of its monsoon season. But international disaster relief charity, ShelterBox, in the latest phase of a response that is now into its third month, is on the way with urgently needed equipment to help communities shelter and rebuild.
ShelterBox’s team in Nepal has just taken delivery of three truckloads of aid that have made the long overland journey from Delhi in India. The 12,000 waterproof tarpaulins are now safely stored in a Kathmandu warehouse operated by partner organisation, the Agency for Technical Co-operation and Development (ACTED).
A further shipment of 2,500 tarps has arrived by air from ShelterBox stock in Dubai, and is now bound for the rural district of Sindhupalchok, close to the epicentre of the first earthquake.
This is the latest phase in ShelterBox’s response to the two Nepal earthquakes. ShelterBox volunteers have now been in-country continuously since 27 April. The earliest distributions were of prepositioned stocks of ShelterBoxes used to create clinical space for damaged hospitals.
Subsequently ShelterBox distributed thousands of shelter kits to high altitude communities – including some deliveries made in partnership with the Royal Gurkha Rifles – and of UN specification tents. And, more recently, orphanages across the Kathmandu Valley received school equipment in SchoolBoxes, as part of a joint project with the local Rotary Club of Bhadgaon.
So far an estimated 15,000 people have received ShelterBox aid. Now, with three months of monsoon downpours underway, waterproof tarps are in great demand.
ShelterBox’s In-Country Coordinator Toby Ash says, ‘The needs we are meeting are many, various and constantly changing. We also have to work within Nepal’s own rules and import restrictions, and have to be patient with bureaucracy and paperwork. So our team welcomes these latest consignments of practical and highly portable aid, and we’re discussing with partners how best to get them to the remote communities who need them most.’
In the longer term ShelterBox is talking to ACTED about ways to reach areas of Nepal that have not yet received assistance, and a possible future project to create quake-resistant dwellings.
Toby adds, ‘As is so often the case, even though a humanitarian disaster has slipped from the headlines, there is still plenty of aid work to be done. In Nepal ShelterBox remains focused on helping people who are living in poor conditions with inadequate shelter.’
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