Experts are continuing to assess the need of communities in Nepal following the devastating earthquake.
Members of Islamic Relief’s Disaster Response Team arrived in the capital Kathmandu within 48 hours of the earthquake occurring and more experts have since arrived. Thousands have been displaced by the earthquake and thousands more are voluntarily homeless because they are too afraid to return to their homes. As many woke up from their fourth night on the streets under steady rain, the country began its first of three days of national mourning.
Vital donations are being collected to fund humanitarian aid. On the basis on assessments already carried out, Islamic Relief aims to reach 10,000 families – around 50,000 people – over the next three months, and hopes to provide 5,000 tents, 10,000 plastic sheets, two water supply systems with 10,000 gallon capacity and 10,000 hygiene kits. Many belongings have been destroyed in the earthquake, so we aim to provide kitchen sets and household kits, including bedding and blankets, to 10,000 families.
We also hope to run a ‘cash for work’ scheme. Through this, we would help people to start the process of recovering from the earthquake. This could include broken tarmac from roads or rubble from buildings that have been destroyed in the tremors. The scheme would allow communities to help the relief effort by improving access as well as providing temporary paid work to people who have lost their livelihoods in the earthquake.
Islamic Relief is working closely with other aid agencies in Kathmandu and many are facing challenges such as bringing large quantities of aid into the country when its main airport is small and offering shelter to thousands of locals.
Akmal Shareef, Islamic Relief’s head of mission in Kathmandu, said: “The entire Kathmandu valley’s under panic. People are living outside, they are staying in the open sky, they don’t have proper systems, the markets are closed so they don’t have food, they don’t have water.”