Phia Foundation was on the frontline providing vital relief and lifesaving support in the aftermath of the recent earthquake in Nepal, which left 8,000 people dead and more than 22,000 injured.
The earthquake – which reached 7.9 on the Richter Scale and had its epicentre just 50 miles from the Nepalese capital Kathmandu – was the worst to hit the region for more than 80 years, leaving a trail of death and destruction.
More than eight million people were affected when the disaster struck on April 25, losing their homes, possessions, livestock and livelihoods. More than 15 aftershocks rocked the region after the initial earthquake, causing more deaths and more buildings to collapse.
Sindhupalchowk was one of the worst affected districts, reporting more than 3,440 deaths and 15,000 injured. Almost 64,000 houses were destroyed there and others badly damaged.
Phia Foundation and its partner CEN (Clean Energy Nepal) provided relief materials for families in eight Village Development Committees (VDCs) in the area.
More than 3,900 shelter kits, including tarpaulins, and more than 4,100 food rations of rice, pulses, oil, salt and children’s food and water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) kits were distributed to families in dire need. We also provided families with clothing and footwear.
Phia worked alongside District Disaster Relief Committees, VDCs, ward offices, the Nepal Army and local communities themselves.
‘This is one of the most devastating disasters I have seen,’ says Yeeshu Shukla, Phia Foundation’s emergency programme officer. ‘It was overwhelming not only for the affected communities but also for the national and local governments and others responding to the crises.
‘Institutions were not fully equipped to deal with a calamity of such a scale and magnitude.
‘In Sindhupalchowk, I came across some of the acute survival challenges that people faced in the immediate aftermath. In the first month, we focused on the immediate needs: food, hygiene kits and emergency shelter.’
Yeeshu explains how Phia Foundation’s support then moved towards early recovery needs: temporary shelters, rebuilding livelihoods through cash transfers and in kind support, and getting WASH infrastructure up and running again.
‘Phia Foundation also addresses longer term recovery needs, building greater resilience to disasters at the frontline,’ Yeeshu adds. ‘With our partners, our larger aim is to build local capacities while delivering humanitarian assistance.’
Phia and its partners worked hard to deliver the greatest possible support in Sindhupalchowk within two months of the earthquake, knowing monsoons would soon make more remote areas inaccessible. Despite these efforts, landslides triggered by monsoons did make around 50% of the district impossible to reach for a time.
Four months on, Phia Foundation continues to work with communities affected by the earthquake, helping people to recover their livelihoods and restore their way of life.
We are very grateful for the donations Phia Foundation supporters have provided so far, but the recovery for the people of Sindhupalchowk has only just begun. They still need your help.