Winter looms dangerously for earthquake survivors in Nepal

Rita was just outside her home tying up her cow when all of a sudden the earth started shaking knocking her to the ground. Photo: Prashanth Vishwanathan/CARE.

NEPAL could soon be dealing with another humanitarian crisis, with millions of earthquake survivors preparing to endure a brutal Himalayan winter while still living in temporary shelters, CARE Australia warns.

CARE Australia is particularly concerned about the situation for the most vulnerable people – pregnant women, infants and the elderly still lacking proper housing – who are most at risk from the extreme cold.

“It’s been six months since the devastating earthquake but Nepal is still a long way from recovery,” said Lex Kassenberg, country director of CARE International in Nepal.

“The end of the monsoon season has made it easier to transport relief supplies. And it is vital we use this time to get help to those who desperately need it before the freezing temperatures start.”

CARE will provide blankets and warm clothes to vulnerable people and trainings, tools and materials to local tradespeople to help them build safer houses

The majority of people in Nepal are still living in temporary shelters made of corrugated iron sheeting provided by organisations like CARE International.

Now the monsoon season has ended, people are beginning to start the long and expensive process of rebuilding permanent houses.

“Many people already know how to build homes using traditional methods. We will work within this structure and provide easy and replicable ways to ensure the homes they build are safer and better protected against any future earthquakes so we hopefully don’t see the same kind of devastation again,” Mr Kassenberg said.

In the last six months, CARE has helped more than 130,000 people in Nepal’s most affected areas by providing emergency food, helping to rebuild shelter, repairing water and sanitation systems and training communities on how to deal with issues like gender based violence and maternal health. But, more funding is required to support long-term recovery programs.

To donate to CARE’s Nepal Earthquake Appeal visit www.care.org.au/nepal. $95 can provide food for 15 days and $280 can provide emergency shelter to a family.

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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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