Updates From Volunteers on the Ground in Nepal:
NEPAL EARTHQUAKE 2015
13th May 2015, Sindupalchowk is one of the hugely impacted areas of earthquake in Nepal. DWSWN visits Sindupalchowk on Saturday to one of the school that was completely destroyed and a small family that belonged to a Deerwalk family member. More than 90% of the houses in the village were destroyed.
Deerwalk volunteers distributed donation to 68 households in district to Nuwakot. The $30 per household donation was very timely and needed to those affected families as other relief agencies were giving basic supplies and they did not have a penny to buy stuff not included in the supplies and still very important to them.
Deerwalk volunteers visited district of Sindupalchowk and donated $300 to an affected family and $250 to a local school named Shree Siddhi Kamala Devi Secondary School. The schools has 340 students from grade one to 10. The school has been closed since the earthquake. Team also donated few PE Plastic cover sheets to the school. People who have lost their home are living under the open sky with a plastic sheet cover and still so many people who are still waiting for tents from the government.
Today we distributed cash to 38 household out of around 60 @ 5000Rs each briefed as follows.
Name: Relief Kanakot, NaubiseTotal Volunteers: 8 (2: DWS, 6 DWIT)Visited Village: Kanakot, Naubise VDC, DhadingTotal house hold damaged: Around 60Cash Distribution as of today because of time constraint: 38 with 5000 Rs each=190,000 in total
Total time spent on site: 3 hours
Plan to distribute the cash to rest of the villages on 11th May, Monday.
Plan for tomorrow: Manish and team is visiting to Sindhupalchowk to distribute cash to DWS employee who lost his mother and to a school damaged completely.
Friday, May 8
1. Today Bhuwan and I Visited Khokana to have a quick assessment. We found that out of 900 HH 700 are either collapsed or partially collapsed or not suitable to live in. Mr. Gangalal (9841409777), green t-shirt in photo who used to be a good friend when I worked in one irrigation project in 2002 AD. Gangalal would prefer CGI sheet rather than the plastic sheets. However, whatever they receive from any donor, they would centrally collect and distribute in single gate system. They are found more transparent at village level as they wrote the list of materials received so far (see photo). Also we met some of the government officials who were doing need assessment on site.
2. In the evening visited one of the house holds victimized by this earthquake. House is completely collapsed and I handed over Cash of Rs 0,000.00
1. One of the DW Employees, Meenu K, had made a request for help sometime back. She seemed very neat in her preparations as she had made some local contacts. She had list of medicines and today we decided to visit the place. The place where we passed by was past the old Bhakatapur and there was not a single house that stood tall. The alley was shut.
When we reached the place, it was drizzling. We went to first camp and started distributing medicines. The makeshift camp housed around 200 people and had one common kitchen. We distributed medicines – the ones that had run out of stock in many places in area around Bhaktapur. Since she was aware of it, we decided to buy the medicines from Kathmandu Medical Hospital. These were ORS, Betadines, Pain Killers, Cough Syrups, Sanitary Pads, Face masks. Even at KMC’s pharmacy we could not find all the medicines that was on the list.
The two places where we distributed medicines thankfully had ladies who were kind of nurses / CMAs. We have their contact numbers but Meenu said she will follow up on regular basis. So we did not have much explaining to do. One amazing site was to see a boy jump up and shout ‘Betadine Aayo’. He had his toe caught in between the door when the earthquake happened. The total cost of medicines distributed was Rs 56,995.44.
Dai, apparently handing out medicines was lot more appreciated by the people. They had very little idea for they have not faced the need for such medicines for most of their lives, so they said. Also, Bhaktapur being hard hit by the earthquake, they said even if they were given cash they still would not have been able to get hold of medicines that we shared with them.
As discussed in the meeting yesterday, from now on, we will distribute cash directly.
Both Facebook and Blog of DWSWN has been updated.
1. The four members of the team left and joined the group in Dhuskun. I got an update from Shyam Sonepa, who is in constant contact with the team, that team met up rest of the team members at the village. They have been well received by the villagers.
2. Niraj Gorkhali, Ex- Budhanilkantha and Ex-D2, donated 300 loaves of bread for distribution by DWSWN and they have been sent to Dhuskun, Piskar, Tekanpur and Tauthali villages in Sindhupalchowk with Paul Marseca from Remote Area Medical (RAM) USA. A total of 15 medical professionals from RAM, in coordination with DWSWN, are currently in the hardest-hit district for medical relief operations. Since the vehicle did not have a tarp, they were provided with 1 tarp from the stock so that their goods could be safely wrapped.
Plans for tomorrow
1. Record missing videos for day 5,6,8,9,10 and 11. The scripts are ready. I wanted either Ruby or Bhawana to come do the recording. Bhawana reported that she was not well whereas Ruby had to attend some puja. This was on top of my priority list but could not make it. I have to make them ready tomorrow somehow or the other.
2. Surendra dai plans to leave for Dhading.
3. Manish M and his team want to visit Sindhupalchowk. They have made a request to give a cash of Rs 30,000.00 to one of his team members, Subash Kunwar, who lost his mother. Also they have been approached by a local school public which is badly damaged in that area.For that they have requested a sum of Rs 20,000.00. Since around 8-10 of the team members want to go to the place. The request has been made for the office vehicle but that’s not something we are allowing now. So could we say reimburse 70% of their travel fare if they decide to rent a vehicle? I am told that members of his core team want to go offer condolences to him?
1. Saroj Neupane came back from his village in Dolakha. We h handed him with Rs 1,20,000.00. He made 36 packages of Rs 1,800 each comprising of one 30 kg sack of rice and one packet of salt. Another package was made comprising of one 30 kg sack of rice and one packet of salt, a liter of cooking oil costing Rs 2000 each. These were distributed to 20 households.
2. A group of students went to OMBAHAL, Kathmandu to meet a victim of a Deerwalker, who had lost her home and also members of her family.
3. Volunteers of DWSWN sorted out and packed the ‘clean wearable clothes’. They plan to leave for Kavre with a company called Edushala. The members of Edushala will be here at Deerwalk. We need to ensure that they already have a particular place figured out. RAM Update 1. RAM Members – Julie Peddicord, Saron Rynard, John Stauffer, Paul Maresca will be joining the group that left today for their assigned work area by the government of Nepal. Finally everyone who enrolled for this mission was able to make it. By tomorrow evening the team of 15 RAM volunteers are expected to go full swing! They will leave tentatively around 10:00 AM in the morning.
Plan for tomorrow
1. On request of Meena Kusi, employee of Deerwalk, we plan to go to distribute water purification material. We will probably hand them cash so that they can buy from the nearest store.
2. There is a massive request for tents in and around Bungmati and Khokana. We do not have tents as such but we may distribute the 100 tarpaulins to family there.
Daily Update from Deerwalk volunteers in Kathmandu
1. We received tarpaulins ( 100 pieces ) with each costing $12. These came via one of Deerwalk employees contact at a local supplier. We still have not decided where will it go as demands are lot more than 100. We will plan that out first thing in the morning.
2. We got a call from school nearby Deerwalk campus. It’s named ‘Bal Sarathi’ and its a orphanage. There were couple of kids there. Even though the building looked pretty stable from outside its almost like on the verge of falling down from behind. They have 100 students and it was sad to see that only few of them were around as many have been shifted to other places. When we reached there, some members of Sikh Community based in Nepal were busy making makeshift shelters using the corrugated sheets. Once again nothing has been committed yet.
3. we have also started looking at option of setting up e-clinics in remote villages so that doctors in Kathmandu can help victims remotely via Skype and phone.
Here is an update from AYON:
AYON: Summary: As a quick response to the earthquake, #Act4Quake team, within 23 hours mobilized around 100 volunteers for relief and rescue operations. Right now we are reaching the un-reached and un-served areas, so far act4quake youth team has reached more than 60 villages of 11 districts and mobilized more than 700 volunteers.
Now it is looking ahead for rebuilding and rehabilitation of earthquake affected areas. #Act4Quake team is looking for short term, mid-term and long-term self motivated youth to work in different areas of relief, recovery and rebuilding of affected areas following the earthquake.
- Act4quake was featured in Aljazeera
- A team with volunteer was sent to Dhuksun VDC Sinshdupalchok with 10 sacks of rice, 2 sacks of rice and basic medicines.
- A group of volunteers was sent to Ramche VDC of Sinshupalchowk with 10 sacks of rice, 2 sacks of rice and basic medicines.e
- A team of volunteers was sent to Jalbire sindhupalchowk with 10 sacks or rice and 2 sacks of daal.
- A team was ent to Madanpur Nuwakot with 10 sacks of rice and 2 sacks of daal.
- Basic medicines were sent to Jeevanpur Ramkot and Thorjagat of Kathamandu.
- Salt and basic medicines were given to orphanage located in Kapan Kathmandu
- 10 sacs of rce, 1 sacs of pulses, 12 packets of salts and basic medicines were sent to suspachmawati of Dolakha VDC.
- #act4quake team contributed 15 bottles of Water Purifier (PIYUSH) to Last Resort (BHOTEKOSHI)
- Bikers volunteers were back from Tipine (Mahadevkhola) Sindhupalchok distributing tents, water purifier, and dry foods. Reporting that there are 22 households with 82 people were benefited. All most all the houses were destroyed road being blocked and none of the aid or support has reached them. There is no total records of deaths and casualties because none of the teams have reached there. The community people are drinking the river water and the WASH status seems very poor projecting the epidemic outbreak.
- The volunteers team serving the victims of Rasuwa since last three days was back after distributing the tents, food and water purifier and helping the medical teams following them yesterday to set up the health camp. Team reported that they were highly appreciated and supported by government officials and securities.
- After distributing the tents to 29 households in Balkumari VDC ward no 9 of Nuwakot district was back. Team assessed that the WASH status was good.
- 7 membered volunteers team was back from Dadhing Mulpani distributing the tents, breads and rice sacks. There are 12 deaths and more than 120 casualties in the VDC. Team reported that the WASH status was poor and community is highly polluted. Team coordinated with local youth for distribution of tents and foods as well as maintenance of WASH status of VDC. The community is still in need of more numbers of tents and food supplies.
- Act4quake volunteers 4 membered group was sent to Jarsing pauwa – 10 Km from Saankhu with foods and tents.
Kundan S Rana ( Class of 2016 )
On 3rd may a team of staff and students from DWIT went to Kaalmochan Temple located at Thapathali. We went there to do our part of volunteering duties. We were team of 13 members. We went there at around 0130 PM and did our share of the work for the day till 0530 PM. The situation there is bad. The main temple is completely destroyed and all that remain are the small statues and temples that surrounded it. We were sad to see that such a monumental temple built by Prime Minister Jung Bahadur Rana in the 1800s was destroyed.
We have lost a part of our culture and our heritage. While we were there we saw that members of the army were trying to pull out the statues that were buried underneath the massive pile of rubble. They did succeed in doing so. They pulled out a seven foot long Shiva statues and a Laxmi Narayan statue. The statues were not destroyed but were a little damaged. Usually along side the statues there were a lot of smaller statues and utensils that were used for pooja. They were destroyed. All of us left satisfied knowing that we had done something useful and our actions made a small difference. Along with this feeling we were also disheartened that we lost such a beautiful and historical heritage site.
Barsha Dahal ( Class of 2017 )
Without long or specific planning we decided to go KaalMochan Ghat at Tripureshwor. The way this old temple was destructed by Earthquake was spine-chilling. I knew how dangerous recent earthquake was after visiting there because I am staying in the locality where I had not seen much destruction. I actually wanted to help hungry, thirsty and helpless victims. So, at first I was not satisfied. We reached there and saw how terrifying this disaster could be and decided to remove the debris as much as we can. Seeing a cultural or historical monument being destroyed and broken into pieces broke my heart. I could feel the pain somewhere inside me while I carried the first brick after reaching there. We worked as a team and carried the bricks.
The way our team worked taught me something. Helping each other can make the task fascinating, even though that task is very exhausting and toilsome. I was feeling proud to act as if I was an engineer or the worker. Really, no task is boring. It depends on with whom you work. No doubt, carrying bricks or cleaning was never a task of entertainment for me, but today I certainly loved cleaning. I am damn tired right now. But this tiredness taught a great lesson and gave a kind of relief. At least we did something, better than sleeping in a room and imagine the earth is shaking all the time.
Sanjeev Mainali ( Class of 2016 )
When I saw an email regarding the call for volunteer for cleaning up operation of Kathmandu I decided to join my hands and headed to my college at around 1 pm .There were already some people at the college ready to visit the site. At first I have no idea about the site which we were going to visit later when we packed all the equipments ,some jars of water and moved I came to know that we were about to clean the temple near Thapathali which was completely destroyed by the earthquake. There were many volunteers from different organizations. We on the behalf of DWSWN also joined them and helped them, the best way we can.
We were altogether 13 volunteers, there, we picked the bricks that can be re-used and piled them in proper place. Making a line of six we divide our team into two lines and passed the bricks picking them from the ground and properly piling them ina proper place so that it can be re-used in future. As being a student I have never done such activities in my life and after doing so I was so happy, happy to help my countries cultural heritage site get cleaned.
After collecting thousands of brick from that area I felt like I, being a Nepali, had managed to contribute something from my side to my country in this situation where a small help means a lot.I really felt very happy to be a part of DWSWN to help in cleaning my motherland Nepal and my hometown Kathmandu .
Abhisek Khatiwada ( Class of 2018 )
Today 3rd May , 2015 we went for ‘Clean up mission’ Day was hot and atmosphere was full of mud. We wore masks, gloves and safety mates and stepped out of the Deerwalk van. The temple area was totally destroyed only some monuments were standing alone. Volunteers and armed force police team were doing their job.
Our motive was to help the rescue team with whatever we can. We were asked to pick the bricks from the temple and stack them on the side of the temple area. APF were busy excavating the destroyed part. We made a team and passed the bricks from the top. I think that was the best thing we could offer at that moment. Idols of gods were being taken out and secured. Reporters were busy capturing the moment. Bigger idols were still trapped inside the temple. We gathered as many bricks as we can. We learnt more about team work and the enthusiasm and energy for helping the victims or affected area has grown big. Yes there is a long path to travel to recover this sorrow but it is possible if we unite together and do jobs like we did today. We left the place late promising to do more and help the needy as much as we can.
Prayush Shrestha ( Class of 18 )
9 days after the massive quake I decided to do some volunteering so went college. We set out to move towards our destination, our initial destination was Gongabu and Balaju to clean that area but decided to go to Thapathali instead, we put on our helmet, gloves and masks which made us feel like an engineer thus we group of 15 engineers set out to Kalmochan Temple situated at Thapathli .The temple was completely destroyed , there were policemen ( APF – Armed Police Force ) and very few volunteers cleaning the area and taking out things of archaeological importance which normal volunteers were not allowed to do .
We then decided to arrange the remains of the temple, we separated brick that could be re used and wood pillars and arranged them. The work was obviously not easy the scorching sun also made it hard but we did it anyway and made a difference. I am really not bothered about the magnitude of difference. All I felt was I was able to help the country in some way at this critical juncture. Talking about my experience it was awesome; you don’t always get to carry a century old bricks do you?
1. Day began early at 6:15 AM when Kedar dai (deerwalk driver) arrived at my place. We helped drop the relief items gathered at my house to Nagarik Hospital where my sister is working.
2. We came back to office with huge cache of clothes. There are nice wearable clothes donated by people from Baneswor. We will handover to Sudan, DW employee, who is basically collecting clothes from all Deerwalkers.
3. At around 1:00 we left for relief work. Today we wanted to do some cleaning ( inspired by Rudra’s reference of Times of India news about Nepalese cleaning Bhaktapur with bare hands.) we bought around two dozen helmets, 25 pairs of gloves and some brooms. As you can see in the pictures the place was totally devastated and one of the person from department of archaeology was happy to see us arrive. He asked us that police is fully occupied with the task of taking the idols trapped inside. We were asked to neatly arrange the pieces of bricks and pile them up neatly so that they can be used for restoration process. We worked fro around 4 hours with intermittent breaks in between and left around 6:00 PM.
We arrived at office around 7:45 PM. This was physically tasking work but very much satisfying. We have just begun working on the video and two of the students, Bhawana ( class of 15 ) and Sumit Shrestha ( Class of 16 ) have told me that they will coordinate from home and send at least one video by midnight.
We spent around Rs 10,000 buying gloves, helmets ( very cheap ones ) and around Rs 3,500 ( part of the same Rs 10,000) on food.
Here’s the update from Day 6.
- Members of DW visited Nuwakot Earthquake Impact Assessment. There were six of them and traveled on Motorbikes due to terrain. The place they visited were called Chauthe and Okharpauwa VDCs. The team spent considerable time meeting with local people in Thuldanda, Bhandarthumka, Dhungana gaon, Siudeni. Some of the answers they came up with was
- Very tough under open sky. Construction of temporary shed has become their first priority. They are also looking for food stuffs as the quantity they have will last only for two to three weeks.
- Not received any relief pacakage whatsoever
- Urgently needed building materials and money to pay for labor
- Are the all houses damaged
- Not much concerned about medicines. [ The team felt that there could be sanitation issues. Nonetheless, villagers seemed least bothered about such thing. They wanted roof over their heads more than anything.
As a token of gesture,
- RS 10, 000 was given to one house hold which has lost a grand mother (55 yrs) and grand daughter (3 years).
- RS 10, 000 to one house that lost its son (22 years)
- RS 2000 to one house that had a mentally challanged person.
- RS 500 to old man
One of the Members of Team RAM, Paul was taken to one of the health camps held at Changu Narayan. He was also ‘lucky’ enough to attend the grand meeting organised by WHO, World Health Organisation, around evening. Paul is currently ‘camped’ in a tent inside DW Complex. One of the glitches that surfaced was that he has been asked by Ministry of Health to come up with hard copy of all documents since all the data entered pertaining to their access to work as a member of relief team has gone missing. He will be escorted to MoH tomorrow. We will then have two more members of RAM team joining him tomorrow. Time permitting, we will also take him to one of the City Hospitals, KMC if everything happens swiftly at ministry.
Even though DW hasn’t been providing vehicle facility, we did help one of our employees help transport relief material to Bagbazar. Likewise, we will help transport relief material to Nagarik Hospital in the morning tomorrow. In turn, they will be donating a huge cache of clothes which will be handed over to ‘Clothes for Victims’ – a campaign led by Sudan Shrestha of Deerwalk.
Today being Saturday, we spent time making plans for what next for upcoming week. As a part of that process, I contacted 1234, government helpline but that was of not much use. I somehow managed to get hold of CDO Office and they recommended us that we go clean place called Gongabu and area nearby Balaju. We plan to leave for that place around noon. We will be buying some shovels, helmets, lime powder and gloves. We will also assess other places trying to focus on cleaning up operation. We will soon get started with portal that has pictures of houses to whom we have donated. As repair work begins, we plan to update the site. Next, we contacted several agencies and we were told that people are desperately looking for TENTS. Since the number of casualties is drastically going up, government is waking up to provide security. Should situation improve we will visit Sindhuplachowk. All in all DW received 11 calls just today calling from help, primarily from, Sindhupalchowk and Dhading.
The Times of India article sort of highlights the problem Nepal currently is facing. Basically it is lack of young labor (three millions are out of country) and lack of tools to clean the debris. Not being able to dig bodies out of rubbles will creat a lot of problems soon – water pollution and contagious diseases.
Unfortunately everyone is focusing in distributing tents. Very few aid workers want to do difficult work of picking shovels and cleaning dirts. These millennials around the world are so worried about the issue they think is big — oh those poor people do not have breakfast; they do not have drinking water; they do not have rugs. There are enough water in villages. They figure it out. Give them cash.
To get the Times of India mobile app for your smartphone, visit TOI mobile apps
Some Relief for Gajuri and Kumpur villages in Dhading Susma Pant.
An employee of Deerwalk Services and a representative of Deerwalk Social Welfare Network visited Gajuri and Kumpur villages in Dhading, 85 km away from Kathmandu, and distributed a sum of NPR 60,000 to six persons who lost family members due to the earthquake. The recipients of the donation were Bhim Bahadur Shrestha (Lost wife), Kamala Tamang (Lost daughter), Rajendra Shrestha (Lost son and wife), Thuli Maya Tamang (Lost father-in-law), Subash Pariyar (Lost sister) and Ram Lal Shrestha (Lost daughter). Thirty four houses in the two villages have completely collapsed and the families are now homeless. The destruction and casualties in the neighboring villages is much more.