Published: Wednesday, 30 November -0001
We will continue to post updates on this page as we learn more about relief efforts in our partner communities.
*May 12, 2015*
A 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on Tuesday morning, killing at least 66 people and injuring 1,000 more. The epicenter was located near Namche Bazaar, northeast of Kathmandu.
We are relieved to report that our staff in Kathmandu are safe, although many are living in tents outdoors.
We are still working with our partner communities to assess the impact of the most recent earthquake. Unfortunately, we are hearing reports that some Centers have sustained damage. Tuesday's earthquake affected 32 districts, including areas of southern Nepal that escaped damage during April's earthquake.
With two major earthquakes in the past two weeks, the people of Nepal will need our support in the months to come as they rebuild their lives. Our goal is to ensure that our 59 READ Centers in Nepal continue to provide life-changing resources and opportunities to the 1.9 million villagers they serve.
We will provide updates on the status of our communities as they become available.
*May 7, 2015*
This week, READ Nepal staff is traveling to many communities to provide relief services, including the village of Kumari, Nuwakot. Nuwakot is one of the hard-hit districts from the earthquake, and many villages here have still not received help. Our team purchased and delivered 130 tents, mattresses, and food and medicine packets for families.
Displaced families in Kumari, Nuwakot gather around their library to receive relief materials
Three years ago, Subhadra (now 85 years old) donated her family's dowry of land to build the Jana Jagaran READ Center in Nuwakot, which has been damaged by the earthquake, but is still standing. Out of the 1,600 homes in her community, only 9 remain standing and undamaged.
Subhadra, with the damaged Nuwakot READ Center in the background
There are 25 newborn babies in the village, and their mothers have all received food, medicine, and temporary shelter. Mothers and newborn babies are at particularly high risk for illness, living outside without shelter.
Mothers in Nuwakot receive relief materials
The solar panels from the library are the only source of power in the community now. Because the library building was damaged, it is not safe for people to go inside; however READ staff found a workaround – they have drawn a cable from the solar panels outside of the building, so that community members can use the electricity to charge their phones (a communication life-line).
Left: READ staff installing solar panels in 2014. Right: Damage inside the library from the earthquake.
*May 5, 2015*
READ is bringing relief to communities affected by the earthquake that no one else has reached yet. I was relieved to hear that yesterday, volunteers from our READ Center in Jhuwani (Chitwan District) collected and delivered emergency supplies to a village several hours away in Nuwakot District that had received no outside relief until they arrived.
Community members in Khadga Bhanjyang village, Nuwakot stand in line behind a READ truck delivering 162 packages of rice, potatoes, oil, salt, and other foodstuffs sent from Jhuwani.
To me, this story epitomizes what READ is all about – a strong network of community centers that work together to make lives better for each other.
Nearby in Nuwakot District is the community of Kumari, where only nine houses out of more than 1,600 remain intact following the earthquake. The READ Center in this village has suffered some damage, but it is still standing.
The READ team in Kathmandu purchased and delivered to Nuwakot 130 tents, some mattresses, and food and medicine packets for families, including the 25 newborn babies in the village. A few days ago, the Center also began providing the only source of power in the community through its solar panels, so people can charge their cell phones.
READ Nepal staff load supplies onto a truck. They have mobilized 270 volunteers in the past few days.
Our READ Center in Panauti, in Lalitpur District, has collected and distributed food, medicine, and clothing to 1,700 people in 350 households in surrounding communities, as well as to some of the harder-hit districts such as Sindhupalchowk and Bhaktapur, by partnering with a number of local organizations and community volunteers.
Panauti Center volunteers distributing supplies; a doctor examines a young girl.
"Many people’s houses are destroyed and forced to live in a tent along with no food no water … even injured cannot get treatment and dead bodies are difficult to be taken out. Our library is totally safe and no damage occurred. Thanks to god for that." - Mahesh Kumar Karmacharya, Panauti READ Center President.
The need is still great in many of our partner communities. Please support our efforts today so that our amazing team in Kathmandu and our network of READ Centers throughout Nepal can continue to serve their fellow Nepalis.