35-year-old Janifa Bibi walks daily around the small area where her house once stood, desperately searching in the rubble of her devastated house, trying to find something which she can exchange for food or water. The Nepal earthquake didn’t spare the innocent lives and houses in her village.
Day of Destruction
Janifa lives in the smallDeda Gaon village in the Gorkha Municipal area in Nepal. It takes quite an effort to clamber up the mountain tracks to reach this village. Janifa and her family was lucky to have escaped from the collapsing house.
“I was cooking food in the kitchen when everything started to shake. I left the gas on in panic and ran out,” recalls Janifa. She now lives temporarily in her brother’s house. She walks miles to fetch water for her family.When help arrived
To the relief of many like Janifa in the Deda Gaon village, Oxfam, a charity organization working on the ground in Nepal has identified their village to provide help. The Oxfam team found the region devastated and now provides provisions for shelter, water supplies and sanitation facilities to help the villagers get on their feet soon.Photo: Preparing Supplies for relief
There are many villages like Deda Gaon which has witnessed much damage to lives and properties but they stay off the radar of relief teams. The agrarian communities in these villages are suffering without basic amenities. In an effort to identify and support communities in remote areas of Nepal, Oxfam has announced relief plans which will have a far reach and teams are deployed to identify regions where help has not beenreached.
Oxfam has announced relief plans to reach 430,000 people as quickly as possible with a $32 million programme, focusing largely on water and sanitation work.
Oxfam has already charted an 18 month plan for relief, recovery and rehabilitation in Nepal” said Zubin Zaman, Deputy Director for Humanitarian and DRR at Oxfam in India. Relief efforts are carried out by Oxfam in five districts.
Oxfam response teams are now based in Gorkha, the worst-affected area close to the earthquake’s epicentre, and Sindhupalchwok district, and are carrying out rapid assessments of the level of need in the villages. From family, to houses, to livelihood, and all their savings are lost. In some areas, 90% of the houses are destroyed and people are out in the open under tarpaulins and materials salvaged from the rubble and are desperate for the most basic of life’s needs. Damage to water pipes has forced people to drink untreated water. A country like Nepal where cholera is already endemic, the risk of water borne diseases is high.
Battling the obstacles
The rescue and relief teams are facing huge impediments due to blocked roads and frequent rains especially in the outside regions of Kathmandu Valley. To add to their woes first rains and then the Himalayan cold is approaching. Vulnerable sections like women and children are even more affected as they also face the risk of abuse and violence. Providing these basic amenities, ensures that people already suffering from the calamity are protected from further life threatening situations.Photo: Technical volunteers, trained by Oxfam during the urban risk management program, erect a T11 water tank with a capacity of 11,000 Litres of clean drinking water at the Tundikhel IDP camp in Kathmandu, Nepal.
How can you help?
Oxfam teams are currently working with the Nepal government and other agencies to plan how to provide clean water and sanitation to more than 34,000 people living in all 16 open-air sites in the Valley. They are also working with other agencies like World Food Programme to provide food supplies to the interior districts.Oxfam is crowfunding to raise funds to continue this vital work. With the monsoon just around the corner, the teams have no time to waste. Your small contribution will save more lives.