Race against time to deliver urgent shelter before monsoon rains hit

INTERNATIONAL aid organisation CARE Australia warns that with Nepal’s monsoon season less than a month away, it is now a race against time to get emergency shelter to survivors of the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that left over 215,000 homes destroyed or damaged.

According to the Government of Nepal, over 130,000 homes were destroyed and more than 85,000 partially damaged in the massive earthquake on April 25, with tens of thousands of people now homeless. Reports suggest that more than three-quarters of the buildings in the capital, Kathmandu, are uninhabitable or unsafe and in some remote villages, over 90 per cent of houses are destroyed or damaged.

CARE Australia is calling for urgent support (www.care.org.au/nepal) to help provide protective shelter kits to communities hardest-hit by the devastating earthquake.

“People are terrified of the looming monsoon rains that are only weeks away. With the rain already getting heavier, and no shelter, there is a real concern that people will lose whatever possessions they still have, like vital food supplies that they need to get them through the winter,” said Tom Newby, CARE’s Shelter Advisor in Nepal.

“It is critical that people have durable emergency shelters that can protect them, while they start to rebuild.”

Thousands of people are sleeping outside with little or no protection from the elements. Many are sharing space under makeshift tents, which increases the risk of violence towards women and girls. The approaching monsoon rains will also put people at risk of water-borne disease, and communities in rural mountainous regions are particularly vulnerable to landslides.

CARE has already reached thousands of people with emergency supplies and over the next month, plans to reach a further 30,000 people with emergency shelter kits that include weather-resistant tarpaulins, rope and a toolkit that will help protect them from the rains, as they begin to rebuild their homes.

As people move towards recovery, CARE will provide the support to help them make changes to the way they build, so their homes are safer and more resilient should another earthquake strike. In some cases, CARE will provide livelihood support or cash vouchers to help families rebuild as quickly as possible.

To donate to CARE’s Nepal Earthquake Appeal visit www.care.org.au/nepal. $95 can provide food for 15 days, $144 can provide clean drinking water for 12 families (with water purification sachets and buckets) and $280 can provide emergency shelter to a family.

CARE has worked in Nepal since 1978, in areas including food Security, HIV/AIDS, health, education, water and sanitation, and the empowerment of women and girls.

The organisation responded to massive landslides in Nepal’s Sindhupalchowk district and floods in the mid-west of the country in August 2014, and works in 33 of 75 Nepal’s districts, including Nepal’s western and central regions, which have been devastated by this earthquake.

CARE Australia is an international humanitarian aid organisation fighting poverty, with a special focus on working with women and girls to bring lasting change to their communities. www.care.org.au

Image: Earthquake survivors in tented area where CARE conducted WASH assessments in Kathmandu (Credit: Glyn Riley).

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Ryan Fritz

Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities with another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years of experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities.

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