Nearly two years after the earthquake that rocked Nepal in April 2015, the country is still recovering and most people have not rebuilt their homes yet.
Nepal, a very poor and small country between India and China, was not prepared to cope with an earthquake of this size.
On April 25, 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck between the capital city of Kathmandu and another city, Pokhara, killing nearly 9,000 people. Approximately, 8 million individuals were affected – a quarter of the country’s population – including one million children.
The earthquake carried a high toll not just in human life and economic losses, but also in the large number of people left temporarily or permanently disabled through crush or other injuries.
The partial or complete destruction of over 1,000 healthcare facilities was another blow to those with pre-existing conditions, as well as those injured or disabled in the series of quakes.
As a response, our partner, IOM, and two NGOs, launched a campaign of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) to help and encourage earthquake survivors with disabilities and their families to resume their daily lives after such traumatic events.
The PSAs include a step-by-step guide on how to make easy-to-build modifications to create accessible homes and infrastructure, how to adapt their daily living activities, key hygiene messages and the importance of exercise in rehabilitation.
“These people do not want to leave where they are. They are very attached to their land and want to rebuild, although they recognize it will take years. The reality is that if they don’t get any assistance, it will be very difficult for them to stay in the many places where the roads are annually washed out for months after the rains come.” IOM Nepal Chief of Mission, Maurizio Busatti
Our partner, IOM, established in Nepal since 2007, joined immediately the post-quake relief efforts by supervising the management and coordination of emergency camps set up to host affected populations, by distributing shelter materials and non-foot items, and facilitating access to health and psychosocial care services.
In total, IOM assisted 1.8 million individuals in the aftermath of the earthquake.
In the aftermath of the earthquake, monsoon rains and heavy winds were threatening displaced families who had found shelter in tents provided by humanitarian agencies.
In Chautara, Sindhupalchok, 45,000 families were at risk of losing their shelter. The plastic sheetings and tents were not robust enough to resist hard weather conditions.
Brian Kelly, IOM's Regional Emergency and Post-Crisis Adviser, needed sheet metal roofing fast but didn't know where to get it from.
Kelly reached out to SAS Institute - an American multination developer of analytics software - to share his concerns and help him find robust materials.
Within minutes of searching into their database, SAS Institute came up with a solution and IOM in partnership with USAIM was able to provide safe and resistant shelters to 45,000 displaced families.