Truckloads Of Tarps Arrive As ShelterBox Continues Its Aid Push In Rain-Swept Nepal

Nepalese villager help unload a truck of Shelterbox aid

Local volunteers assist in delivering ShelterBox aid to the people of Pipaldanda in Nepal

 

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.’

You can support the work of ShelterBox by donating here: PLEASE DONATE

 

SchoolBoxes Provide A Sense Of Normality For Children In Nepal

A child ponders what to write after being given a ShelterBox activity pack. (Torstein Neilsen/ShelterBox)

A child ponders what to write after being given a ShelterBox activity pack. (Torstein Neilsen/ShelterBox)

 

Since the first powerful earthquake hit Nepal in late April, our ShelterBox response teams have found innovative ways to use our aid to support people whose lives have been turned upside down.
Our tents were not only given to families that had lost their homes, but also to hospitals and therapy centres to provide space for people who had been hurt either physically or emotionally by the quakes. We also provided shelter kits to people whose homes needed repairing and now, our teams have been working with a local Rotary club to distribute SchoolBoxes, containing classroom materials, to orphanages in the Kathmandu Valley.
During the response in Nepal, ShelterBox has teamed up with several different organisations, such as the Armed Police Force, theRoyal Gurkha Rifles and other aid agencies, to make sure that we reach as many people in need as possible. Most recently, we have been working with the Rotary Club of Bhadgaon, based in the Kathmandu Valley. The club, which is less than a year old, has taken on the project of supporting more than 200 orphanages across the Kathmandu Valley, which has become even more urgent following the earthquakes.
Children at an orphanage in the Kathmandu Valley receive ShelterBox school supplies (Torstein Neilsen/ShelterBox)

Children at an orphanage in the Kathmandu Valley receive ShelterBox school supplies (Torstein Neilsen/ShelterBox)

Each orphanage looks after between 25 and 50 children, some of whom arrive when they are as young as a few days old and can remain until the age of 18. Many of the orphanage buildings have been damaged as a result of the earthquakes, with cracks in the walls and floors visible in the structure.
The Rotary Club brought in psychiatrists to help children who have been traumatised by the earthquakes and ongoing aftershocks. In addition, a ShelterBox response team, made up of Tim Osburn (US), Jimmy Griffith (NZ), Torstein Neilsen (NOR) and Jessica Kim (CAN) helped to source and deliver SchoolBoxes containing enough school materials for 450 children.
SchoolBoxes contain educational resources for teachers and 50 children

SchoolBoxes contain educational resources for teachers and 50 children

Each box includes supplies for teachers, such as blackboard paint, chalk and solar radios, along with activity packs for children that contain materials, such as notebooks and coloured pencils, to not only help children to continue their studies, but to play and express themselves too.
Response team member Jimmy Griffiths said: ‘It was great to see our SchoolBoxes in action and to peek in on how the children are enjoying a little bit of a distraction from their very difficult experiences.’

SchoolBoxes Distributed To Orphanages In Earthquake-Stricken Kathmandu

Happy children accept their SchoolBox from SRT volunteers

Happy children accept their SchoolBox from SRT volunteers

 

Disaster relief charity ShelterBox has now used a range of its aid in its Nepal earthquake response ShelterBox tents as medical facilities, Shelter Kits to get aid swiftly to mountain villages, and now SchoolBoxes to bring some sense of recovery and normality to children in Kathmandu.   

The Nepal earthquakes affected vast areas of urban, valley and mountain terrain, presenting unique challenges to aid workers. From the city of Kathmandu to high altitude villages perched on narrow terraces, ShelterBox and its partners have had to use ingenious solutions – a variety of aid, and every form of transport from helicopters to trucks to trekking by foot.

In the early days after the first quake ShelterBox tents were used as medical facilities outside damaged city hospitals, or as field hospitals in the foothills. Then a steady flow of Shelter Kits containing tools and waterproof tarpaulins were the ideal choice for helping remote mountain communities to start rebuilding their homes. Over 15,000 people have received ShelterBox aid so far, much of it delivered in partnership with other international organisations, Rotary and the Royal Gurkha Rifles. 

Now, an initiative by a local Rotary Club has focused on children in need. The Rotary Club of Bhadgaon is less than a year old, but has taken on the massive project of supporting over 200 orphanages across the Kathmandu Valley a task which the earthquakes made even more urgent.

Bhadgaon (also known as Bhaktapur or Khwopa) is a city in the Kathmandu Valley with some of the finest temples and religious architecture in Nepal, though much of it has now been damaged or destroyed.

A response team from ShelterBox – Tim Osburn from the US, Jimmy Griffith from New Zealand, Torstein Nielsen from Norway and Jessica Kim from Canada – helped to source and deliver SchoolBoxes containing enough school materials for up to 450 children. Each orphanage looks after between 25 and 50 children – some are admitted when only a few days old, and they may remain until the age of 18. The Rotarians have also brought in psychiatrists to help children traumatised by the quakes and ongoing aftershocks.

Torstein says, ‘It was wonderful to see how the older children were taking care of the younger children. It was evident that the staff fostered a healthy, inviting family environment.’

His colleague Jimmy Griffith added, ‘It was great to see our SchoolBoxes in action and to peek in on how the children are enjoying a little bit of a distraction from their very difficult experiences.’

In another initiative a ShelterBox tent has provided an adaptable space for a local children’s art therapy organisation in Balaju Park in Kathmandu. This has created a fun, friendly environment where children can overcome the trauma of the earthquakes. It provides them with a place to play, sing, dance and draw, where they can receive one-on-one therapy too. It will also be used to train counsellors and volunteers committed to helping children overcome their experiences.

ShelterBox CEO Alison Wallace says, ‘It is no surprise that a widespread disaster like this has required many different responses, and the use of different types of aid. We have been fortunate to team up with excellent partner charities, with Rotarians and the military to reach as many people as possible. And it is good to see the needs of these children being part of that mix.’

‘Now, with the monsoon creating very wet conditions for the next few months, we are sourcing more tarpaulins to help as many people as possible to rebuild or to shelter. Flexibility and resourcefulness are needed in such testing circumstances, and I am proud to say ShelterBox is dedicated to doing all it can to continue helping the people of Nepal.’

Eva Doerr is now leading the ShelterBox team in Nepal. Eva says,‘Despite logistical challenges the team in Nepal is continuing to make a relentless effort in providing those families affected by the earthquake with shelter and recovery material. With the monsoon season just around the corner, we can expect another emergency and even more need.’