Nepal emergency one month on spotlight
It’s been one month since Nepal was devastated by the deadliest earthquake in over 80 years, and aftershocks are still felt in the whole of Nepal. In the wake of quake, the international community rallied, and aid was constantly been delivered but a large number of people are sleeping under open sky and don’t have much to rely on. Food and shelter needs are enormous. Islamic Relief teams are on ground and constantly delivering food aid and tents in Sindupalchowk and Rasuwa district. During our distribution of food packs in Bhimtar village, our team identified two children whose mother died in the earthquake.
Maili Danhwar, is the maternal grandmother of two children named Pujan, a 10-month-old boy, and Puja, a three-year-old girl. They lost their mum in the earthquake while their father was abroad in Malaysia for labour work. “My daughter was inside the room when earthquake struck but she realised her mother-in-law and her children were inside the room. She rushed to the room to bring all of them out but the building collapsed. My daughter, her two children and my daughter’s mother-in-law was trapped under the rubble. My daughter’s father-in-law was searching through the rubble with neighbours to find her,” Maili told us.
Man Bahadhur Danhwar, Puja and Punjan’s grandfather told us that they couldn’t find anyone for one hour but they continued their search effort. “I heard a voice of a child crying and we started digging and removing debris. After a constant struggle, we found two dead bodies. One of my wife and one of my daughter-in-law. My granddaughter Puja was badly injured and her leg was fractured. Pujan was ok,” he recalled.
Man Bahadur continued: “My son has returned from Malaysia and is trying to get back on his feet but is in hock to money lenders because he borrowed money to manage his visa fee and air fare travel to Malaysia.”
“We were already facing problems and it was difficult to feed the family. I had only one hope that my son will earn some money for us. Now he is back due to the deaths of his mother and wife. My grandson Pujan is an infant and the baby is being breastfed by his auntie alongside her own child.”
This story and pain concerned us at Islamic Relief and we built shelter for the family. Islamic Relief provided construction material and technical assistance to the family. This shelter is a sample for the community where our shelter engineer and volunteers have designed a structure which is locally acceptable and can meet the needs of the community with a changing environment.
All the community were eager to learn how to build a safe shelter for themselves and they offered their services in the form of non-technical labour. Our shelter engineer, with the support of local volunteers, has trained them and now the community can take their own initiative in building the same shelter which has been provided for Puja & Pujan.