Although it has been many months since the first powerful earthquake shook Nepal, our hearts are still heavy and overwhelmed today. If you recall, a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the nation on April 25th. It was the biggest earthquake the nation has seen in over 80 years and 16 times more powerful than the 2010 Haiti earthquake. This initial tidal wave of movement devastated the country but it did not stop there. Numerous aftershocks, including another significant earthquake of 7.3 magnitude occurred on the 12th of May, only continued to cause destruction and devastate the fragile infrastructure that was broken from the initial earthquake. The earthquakes and aftershocks were waves of devastation that shook the country and caused immense damage. It total, over 9,000 people have died and it was estimated that over 23,000 people were injured. Even though several months have passed, thousands continue to have a critical need for emergency supplies, food, water, sanitation, and shelter especially as a second, more devastating humanitarian crisis unfolds with the blockade by India and the political turmoil of unrest in the Terai (southern) region of Nepal.
The earthquakes created an immense humanitarian crisis in Nepal. People became homeless as approximately 591,000 houses were destroyed and 276,000 homes were damaged. Access to the already limited clean water and adequate sanitation infrastructure were cutoff causing an estimated 4.2 million people in need of urgent water, sanitation and hygiene services. Food became scarce and approximately three million people became desperate for food. Schools were destroyed and damaged. Children were orphaned and were prey to traffickers. Roads and bridges to rural areas were destroyed. The remote areas, which were already difficult to access, became cutoff from the world due to landslides. Destroyed infrastructure further limited access to health and nutrition services. With the devastation, some of the infrastructure that MountainChild has constructed and supported was impacted. Our school in Ghap was decimated. Our recently completed Gateway Project in Khorlabesi sustained significant destruction; only the kitchen remained standing.
For MountainChild, our initial relief efforts to provide immediate, life-saving assistance to those who needed it most was such an important and crucial stage in our earthquake response. However, the tide has to quickly change from survival to empowering a culture to thrive. This occurs through sustainable rehabilitation and community development, which has been the primary focus of MountainChild from the beginning. The effort to Rebuild Nepal, a focused initiative to implement our next phase of the response, is upon us and continues today. MountainChild will continue to carry hope through our long-term rebuilding efforts until these communities are empowered to thrive now and into the future.
Visit our Donate page and click “Give to the greatest need” to join us in our efforts to Rebuild Nepal.