Communities in Nepal were left in shock after a huge magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck on the morning of Saturday 25 April 2015, affecting more than 8 million people (OCHA) in 39 districts – of whom nearly 1 million were estimated to be children.
The earthquake caused mass homelessness as it destroyed over 600,000 houses, infrastructure and services. Nearly 9,000 people were killed and more than 22,000 injured. Sadly, just 17 days later more lives were lost when another 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit on 12 May exacerbating the humanitarian situation.
Two Years on: how we have helped
After the devastating earthquakes that struck Nepal in April and May 2015, we responded with immediate relief followed by recovery efforts in ten of the hardest hit districts.
Through our relief, recovery and rehabilitation efforts, we’ve reached 538,699 people so far. We’ve provided goods, access to services, cash assistance, trainings and infrastructure for disaster preparedness, health care, improved nutrition, education, water, sanitation and hygiene, shelter and livelihood.
You can read all about our response for the first two years and beyond in our Nepal Earthquake Two Years on Response report below:
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Highlights from the relief response
Children’s well-being is at the core of our humanitarian response
When a natural disaster occurs, children are always among the most vulnerable. 1.5 million children needed to find some normality after the earthquake. Feeling aftershocks, seeing their homes and schools damaged, created fear and anxiety in children. To support children straight after the earthquake and aftershocks, 35 Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) were set up to provide immediate psychosocial support and a safe area to play and learn. These nurturing environments have helped children to strengthen their resilience to deal with the risks they faced and the distress they experienced.
Schools were still closed months after the quake, so we established 62 Temporary Learning Centres (TLCs) where children resumed learning in a safe environment and returned to a regular routine. By providing teaching aids, learning materials, hygiene kits, student supplies and cash assistance we've helped more than 9,500 children to be in schools where they can be protected and cared for. Teachers, volunteers and village committee members are also trained to provide psychosocial support. We reached 39,821 children through education activities including renovation/construction of 14 school buildings including WASH facilities, distribution of education materials such as teacher’s kits, student’s kits, ECD (Early Childhood Development) kits and school kits.
Photo: Children playing in the Child Friendly Space (CFS) set up by World Vision in Gorkha District. © 2015 | Sunjuli Kunwar | World Vision
Some other highlights from the first two years of the response:
- The nation’s public health system was significantly affected by the earthquake and aftershocks. We reached 127,549 people through health activities, including repair and renovation of 12 health posts, counselling pregnant and breastfeeding women, distributing tents, baby hygiene kits, clean delivery kits and running of 31 Women, Adolescent and Young Child Spaces and outreach clinics).
- We reached 114,775 people through livelihood activities such as providing agriculture inputs, vocational skills training and rehabilitation of 55 damaged irrigation systems.
- We renovated and constructed 153 water systems, giving more than 50,000 people access to safe drinking water. And we’ve installed11,448 household toilets for vulnerable families.
- Our child protection activities have reached 35,289 children. These include trainings, radio messages and road show programmes, and competitions in schools and communities to promote child protection messages.
- The earthquake destroyed and badly damaged housing and personal belongings, leaving thousands of families homeless, and exposing them - especially children - to greater vulnerability and insecurity. To meet the needs of vulnerable families, we provided over 21,000 families with materials for makeshift shelters (including tarpaulins, tents or corrugated iron sheeting, rope and toolkits). Families also received kitchen kits, sleeping mats, solar lamps and warm winter clothing.
- We’ve helped more than 21,400 families to build semi-permanent make-shift shelters. And we trained 99 local masons and 9,700 local people in Build Back Better construction techniques which create safer and stronger buildings more resistant to future earthquakes.
REHABILITATION: Building back
Over the last two years, the Nepali people have come a long way in their recovery from the devastating impact of the earthquake, but it is a long road with more to do.
While the rehabilitation phase started back in October 2016, communities in Nepal are still facing challenges. For example, landslides often happen from early June to October. Districts on the Sino-Nepal border are extremely susceptible to landslides. With pre-monsoon rainfall this year, we’re already seeing reports of damaged roads. We have a preparedness plan in place to respond.
We will continue to meet their emergency needs, strengthen their resilience and self-recovery, and restore a sense of safety for children and their families. We are currently focused on supporting communities in the areas of livelihood, shelter, water and sanitation to help men, women, children and families bounce back from the impact of the earthquake and strengthen their resilience.
We plan to reach 27,250 more people before April 2018. So far we’ve reached nearly 13,000 in the rehabilitation phase We want to help communities build back their infrastructure to a safer standard, empower people with skills, provide them with income-generating opportunities and assist them in diversifying their livelihood to sustain themselves and be more resilient to future shocks and disasters in their communities.
Walk with the children of Nepal as they recover and rebuild their lives
DEC Funding: helping the people of Nepal
Funding from the DEC is also being used to help the nation recover.
With funding from the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), in the first six months we helped around 107,000 people in the worst affected districts with shelter, food and water.
This included giving shelter kits to over 9,500 people to keep them warm and dry, alongside 300 baby care kits, water purification tablets and hygiene kits. We set up 23 Women, Adolescent and Young Child Spaces to support the well-being and protection of over 2,800 pregnant and breastfeeding women, and children. We also gave direct cash assistance to 10,370 people so they could meet their basic, most urgent needs.
Between November 2015 and January 2017, we reached 60,572 people in the following ways:
- Improved access to primary health care facilities, counselling and nutritional support service.
- We constructed and equipped one health post that serves more than 4,000 people.
- We trained 279 Female Community Health Volunteers on various nutrition and health topics so that they can adequately support their communities with information provision and counselling support. We've also provided delivery kits and baby hygiene kits to mothers.
- Back to school campaigns classroom kits, student packs and book bags are all helping children return to school.
- We've given 800 women seeds for small scale agriculture to help them make an income and continue supporting their families.
- We’ve also helped 42,697 people in the communities of Gorkha, Nuwakot, Dolakha and Sindhupalchowk through health, education, water and sanitation, shelter and livelihood activities.
- We’ve helped communities to get better access to health care , counselling and nutritional support services.
- Pregnant women have been given delivery kits. New mums have shared babies’ health and nutrition knowledge and skills through various trainings.
- More than 4,000 people get drink clean water now, through the construction of water systems, the distribution of soap and water purification tablets.
- Schools have got new furniture, classroom kits, and teachers kits.
- We’ve also given 2,000 shelters kits to the community of Nuwakot so that 5,000 people can have adequate shelter.
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