The following story comes to us courtesy of SIM's partner in Nepal, United Mission to Nepal. SIM will work alongside UMN in providing disaster relief and reconstruction. See their website here.
By Lyn Moffat
The fourth night after the earthquake was the first without aftershocks. How good to sleep soundly at last! That morning, for the last time, families in Kathmandu emerged drowsily from under their tarpaulins and heated water for tea on small burners or open fires. After breakfast, those who still have standing houses will roll up their bedding and return to their homes, grateful to be warm and dry after several damp nights in the open.
There are, however, many in Kathmandu and the surrounding villages who have no houses to which they can return. Jaya Thapa, who has trained Nepali churches in disaster response for years, knows of entire villages where scarcely a house is still standing. People are cold, wet, shocked and hungry. Some have lost family members, and there are many injured.
Lele Sunar Tole was a pretty village of traditional wood-framed mud-brick houses, about 9 kilometres from Kathmandu. Thirteen or fourteen families live there. The people are mostly artisans, working in brass and iron, and raising crops in their small terraced plots.
When the earthquake struck, most of the villagers were outside. They were terrified as their ochre-painted houses rocked and shuddered. Bricks loosened by the quake began to tumble from walls. Soon, entire walls collapsed and ancient, fire-blackened timbers crashed to the ground. When the quake stopped, nine of the houses were severely damaged; one completely destroyed. "I can't live in my house anymore," said Kanchhi Sunar.
Since then, the villagers of Lele Sunar Tole have been sleeping outside under whatever shelter they could find. Although they are close to the city, no relief had reached them until United Mission to Nepal's partner Rescue Network Nepal arrived six days after the earthquake. What they brought with them was just the basics - some beaten rice, dry noodles and flour; plastic sheeting for shelter. It's not much, but at least the people of Lele Sunar Tole feel a little less alone.
This scene is repeated in villages across rural Nepal as Rescue Network Nepal sends out trained volunteers. They first helped in the immediate aftermath - first aid, search and rescue, and emergency shelter. Now they’re providing more long-term relief like tents and plastic sheeting, shovels, nutritious food, bottled drinking water for households, first aid kits, and stretchers.
"Pray for us!” says Jaya Thapa. “There is so much need, but we are doing what we can."
To assist SIM, UMN and our partners to provide relief to villages like Lele Sunar Tole please donate here.