Relief for Nepal: Update May 7th
International Needs Nepal Delivers Aid for Relief & Recovery to Lamasagu Village, Sindhupalchok
Video and Photographs of International Needs relief activities worth a thousand words…
Four days after returning from her reconnaissance mission to Lamasagu Village by motorcycle, Esther Thapa, Executive Director of International Needs Nepal returned in a truck to meet the most urgent needs she had observed.
Before making the trip, Esther says, she attended a meeting of aid and development organizations with the Social Welfare Council to coordinate relief efforts with district and village officers, and finalize the destination complete with the necessary bureaucratic stamps and signatures.
The truck, laden with supplies to meet the emergency needs of 330 households, left at 5:30am from Bhainsipati with Esther, her daughter Sraada, and International Needs Nepal employees Ashish, Pranish, and Asmita. International Needs Nepal’s new Community Worker Deepak Rai joined them about an hour later while International Needs Nepal’s accountant Dipendra and his sons Ajay and Sanju led the way on their motorbikes.
“Each time we passed over a huge crack in the road or crossed a bridge high above a raging river, or saw a traffic accident, or the body of a dead person, I remembered International Needs donors and supporters around the world praying for our safety,” Esther says. “I was grateful in those moments, and will forever remember and appreciate the support.”
After many stops and starts—police needed to escort groups of relief trucks that might otherwise get looted by desperate villagers—Esther and her crew reached Lamasagu at 1:00pm. She had arranged, on the first visit, for local villagers to assist with the relief effort: guiding the truck to a designated location, creating an official list of the villagers, identifying and inviting the intended recipients to collect their relief supplies.
Each International Needs relief package included: rice, lentils, pulses and beans, sugar, oil, bathing soap, detergent, tea leaves, turmeric, and mixed spices. Specifically for the two women who had recently given birth Esther brought mosquito nets and repellent, baby soap, lotion, and powder, reusable diapers, hand sanitizer, mouthwash, oral rehydration drinks, and chicken.
When Esther asked one elderly woman what difference the relief package made for her, she replied: “Now I feel we may live a few more days.” Since Esther’s initial visit many of the villagers had received basic survival plastic packets of water and instant noodles, she says, but International Needs was the first to deliver packages of “real sustenance.”
“Feeding 330 people for a few weeks is not a lot given the scope of the disaster,” Esther says, “But for these people it is significant. I cannot promise to feed them until their houses are rebuilt, or even through the monsoon season, but we will do what we can. I am grateful to work in an organization that inspires me to believe in helping others."
Because of the challenges of leadership and co-ordination, the villages that need priority assistance change every day. But by listening to reliable sources and trusted government workers in the grapevine, Esther says it is possible to reliably identify communities that are in most dire need.
Tents, Esther says, are in high demand. With the potentially early arrival of the monsoon season, heavy rains will make life difficult for children, the frail and the elderly. But beyond relief Esther is looking toward a recovery strategy. Perhaps semi-permanent tin homes or rebuilding the local school—an educational as well as psycho-social benefit for the children.
“Thank you so much for your hard work and commitment to helping the people of Nepal in their time of need,” Esther says. “In coming days I hope to show you even more evidence of the hope that your generosity has helped us to build and the recovery that your kindness has helped us to achieve.”