Image copyright: Agnes Varraine Leca, Action Against Hunger
Nepal earthquake: survivors left homeless and vulnerable
Following the earthquake in Nepal, five emergency experts from Action Against Hunger have arrived in Kathmandu to reinforce our existing teams.
Apr 30 2015
More emergency staff are on their way, with a total of 11 tonnes of equipment to be transported this week. We have reinforced our on-site team that has been working in the country since 2005. Able to carry out an immediate needs assessment, we are committed to supporting at least 100,000 survivors.
The earthquake has caused severe infrastructure damages, making the following a priority: water, sanitation and hygiene, non-food items, mental health care and food security our priorities. We have identified three areas to focus on: Kathmandu and the rural districts of Sindhupalchok and Nuwakot. Up to 80 per cent of the Nepalese population live and work in rural areas, which is where the majority of survivors are still waiting for help.
"Outside the towns, we are talking about a huge rural and mountainous region which has been affected,” said Vincent Taillandier, director of operations for Action Against Hunger in France. “We don’t yet have reports from there because of the lack of access and because communications are down. It is certain, however, that there is considerable damage. “Deployment of aid to families in rural areas will be long and difficult, and will require helicopters as well as more traditional means, including transportation by donkey.”
Access to first aid materials and international aid professionals is an immediate priority, so it is crucial that the capacity of the airport is strengthened to allow all essential aid to arrive as quickly as possible, particularly water, sanitation and hygiene materials.
There is a lack of water in the capital, but also a risk that the quality of the water will pose a health risk, as the extent of the damage to the reservoirs and pipes is still unknown.
“Without their homes, their food supplies and with no access to water, an earthquake of this size has without a doubt made the survivors very vulnerable,” said Taillandier.