25 April 2017 marks the second anniversary of the Nepal earthquake. On 12 May, a second, magnitude 7.3 quake struck the border between Sindhupalchowk and Dolakha districts, about 80 kilometers east of Kathmandu. A total of 5.6 million people were affected by the two earthquakes, with 8,856 people killed and more than 800,000 houses damaged or destroyed. Since the disaster, the Nepal Red Cross Society, supported by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Movement partners has been at the forefront of recovery efforts. As well as providing thousands of families with cash grants to reconstruct their homes, the Red Cross has rebuilt schools and health posts, improved local water supplies and helped to re-establish people’s livelihoods.
Photos by: Marko Kokic/Canadian Red Cross and Brad Zerivits/American Red Cross.
Sarishma Gurung washes her hands at a tap in Champani, Nepal – a village that lost every home and its water system to the 2015 Nepal Earthquake. With support from the Nepal Red Cross and American Red Cross, families in the area can now collect water from 13 taps, which are located throughout the hilly village.
Nepal Red Cross volunteer, Binita, visits a new mother in Kaule, Nepal – an area heavily affected by the earthquake. Binita goes door-to-door, helping parents track their kids’ immunisation records and ensuring they make it to the next vaccination campaign on time. To read more about how the Nepal Red Cross is meeting communities’ post-disaster health needs, click here.
With support from the IFRC, Nepal Red Cross and the Canadian Red Cross, a wide pathway has been built in the remote mountainous area of earthquake-affected Okhaldhunga, Nepal. The journey to nearby villages is often on steep, rugged, cliff-edged terrain that can be difficult and even dangerous. Through the Red Cross, 65 members from vulnerable village communities were hired to build the pathway.
Maina Singh Tamang cuts a piece of wood in front of his new home in Kaule, Nepal. Maina had a basic understanding of construction all his life, but never considered himself an expert. A Red Cross volunteer visited his family in the earthquake’s aftermath and encouraged him to sign up for an intensive course on safe building techniques. Now Maina leads a team of people to rebuild homes destroyed by the quake, and is earning an income while ensuring the safety of their neighbours through safe building techniques.
Click here to read more about how the Red Cross is helping quake-affected communities rise from the rubble.
Dil Maya Tamang picks peas in the terraced fields of Kaule. The Red Cross helped Dil Maya and her community during the emergency with aid such as warm clothes, cash and kitchen items, and continues to help them as they recover. Because of the shifting land and inconsistent water, Dil Maya and her neighbours had a difficult time cultivating enough crops to sustain their livelihood.
Street drama has been a traditional vehicle in Nepal for interacting with local communities on a range of important issues, including drunkenness, sexual violence and family disputes over land. Such performances are just one way of communicating with the community, but the Red Cross is also using other platforms.
Click here for the full story on the importance of dialogue with affected communities.