Earthquake Relief and Recovery

Following the earthquake in Nepal in April 2015, PHASE Nepal launched an Earthquake Appeal, providing emergency relief for our project areas and adjoining communities in Gorkha and Sindhupalchowk – some of the most severely affected regions of the country.

earthquake damage in rural areas

The earthquake destroyed entire villages in PHASE’s remote working

PHASE Nepal works in five of the poorest districts in Nepal (see the map below). Eight of our project villages are in the districts of Gorkha and Sindhupalchowk, which were severely impacted by the earthquake. Across Nepal almost 9,000 people have been reported dead and over 22,000 injured since the first earthquake in April 2015. 3,400 of those reported dead were from Sindhupalchowk district alone.

Project areas of PHASE Nepal before the earthquake

Project areas of PHASE Nepal before the earthquake

With funding from the PHASE Earthquake Appeal – as well as from large funders like Caritas Germany, Caritas Austria, Diakonie, People in Need and others – PHASE were able to carry out immediate emergency activities to provide shelter, food and health aid across almost 15,000 households (extending our working areas to a total of 21 VDCs in the worst affected districts).

Shelter

More than 90% of the homes in Sindhupalchowk and between 70-80% of homes in Gorkha were destroyed, so providing temporary shelter quickly was essential. 9,288 tarpaulins and 12,089 bundles of corrugated iron sheets were delivered with nails, rope and wire to enable families to create temporary shelters. More than 22,700 blankets and almost 7,000 sleeping mats were also distributed. PHASE distributed 200 tents (donated by Caritas) to serve as temporary schools and health posts during the monsoon season, which started just two months after the earthquake.

Health care

During the earthquake, eight PHASE-supported health posts were damaged in the areas of Gorkha and Sindhupalchowk. Tents were being used as temporary health posts so PHASE health workers could continue providing essential medical care to the community. Additional medicines and medical equipment were provided to help care for those injured in the earthquake. PHASE was also able to supply hygiene kits including more than 10,000 packets of bathing soap. Ensuring good levels of sanitation after a disaster is paramount to avoid infections or illnesses spreading within the community when the population is at its most vulnerable.

Other hygiene issues were addressed too. In Fulpingkot, a village of around 4,000 people in Sindhupalchowk, most of the toilet structures had collapsed and the underground cesspits had been damaged. This led to contamination of water supplies and unsuitable drinking water. PHASE distributed thousands of water purification tablets and is beginning to rehabilitate the water systems, while the toilets are being rebuilt by another NGO..

Whilst continuing medical care in the villages PHASE was also able to secure the use of ambulances and helicopters to evacuate people to hospitals in Kathmandu. At least 6 patients, who could not have travelled to Kathmandu otherwise were helped to reach hospitals safely.

PHASE health worker administering health care after the earthquake

PHASE health worker administering health care after the earthquake

Food and nutrition

Crops were damaged and livestock were killed in the earthquake, so emergency food was essential to keep the communities as healthy as possible as they tried to rebuild their homes and lives. PHASE provided 5,326 30-kg bags of rice, more than 1,000 kg of pulses, 1,481 kg of salt and over 1,000 litres of cooking oil. Along with emergency provisions PHASE also distributed over 2,415 kg of seeds to aid the communities in re-establishing crops for the long-term, and 9,792 storage bags to safeguard stores and new crops.

PHASE workers distributing rice in Sindhupalchowk district

PHASE workers distributing rice in Sindhupalchowk district

A full list of the emergency aid provided by PHASE is seen here in the table below. Our large humanitarian donors funded most of this aid, with individual and small donations helping to fill gaps in provision.

Aid ProvidedTotal
Laundry soap (packet)9,800
Bathing soap (packet)10,220
Buckets with cover5,492
Hygiene kits4,900
Water jugs5,478
Mosquito nets5,520
Blankets22,756
Mothers' clothes (sets)15
Newborn baby clothes (sets)30
Sleeping mats8,000
Medicines and medical equipment12 health posts
WHO medicine kits (donated by Caritas)200
Corrugated iron sheet bundles (72 feet each)12,089
GI wire (kg)51,197
Nails (kg)12,325
Rope (metres)151,742
Tarpaulins9,288
Tents (donated by Caritas)200
Tool kits5,276
Solar lanterns130
Solar with mobile charger sets146
Pulses (kg)1,096
Rice (25-30 kg bags)5,326
Salt (kg)1,481
Cooking oil (litres)1,114
Seeds (kg)2,415
Grain storage bags9,792

Continuing our programmes in healthcare, education, and livelihood

PHASE has been working in three of the districts affected by the earthquake for almost 10 years, establishing trusting relationships with the local communities. PHASE was therefore not only able to provide immediate aid but has also been planning longer-term support in order to enable local people to rebuild their lives.

PHASE gave specific ‘Education in Emergencies’ training to schoolteachers working in these communities and in alternative education centres so that communities could continue to access education after the disaster.

About 5,300 tool kits were distributed as part of the emergency aid to help people dismantle destroyed buildings and construct temporary shelters made with tarpaulin and corrugated iron. The tools will also be used when those shelters are later replaced with more sturdy structures. Wooden constructions with tin roofs were replacing the temporary tarpaulin shelters within a few weeks of the earthquake in some villages. The temporary shelter materials are now being used to shelter animals and stores of firewood and grains.

The future for Gorkha and Sindhupalchowk

In the aftermath of the earthquake, communities in Gorkha and Sindhupalchowk were greatly helped by the emergency aid provided by PHASE. The basic aid that PHASE was able to provide for individuals that had lost so many things – their homes, livestock, crops, and in some cases their families – was life changing.

However, our work is far from finished, and these communities need our help even more over the coming years. Supported by our funding partners and individual donations, PHASE is working in Gorkha and Sindhupalchowk to construct temporary schools, rebuild safe water systems and prepare families for the winter in temporary shelters. We are currently distributing specific winter kits to areas in the highest altitudes that will face the most harsh winter conditions. Kits include blankets, winter jackets, floor mats, solar lights and additional equipment to reinforce temporary shelters against the extreme weather.

PHASE services such as health care, education and agricultural programmes have now fully resumed using temporary accommodation. We are also investing some of our available funds to reconstruct clinics and schools. Sadly, we estimate that repair and reconstruction work following the earthquake will continue for at least 5 – 10 years.

Namaste!

Last updated on 29 February 2016.