VILLAGERS in mountainous regions of Nepal are still cut off from
aid after an earthquake that "nobody would have guessed would come
during their time", the country's most senior Anglican cleric said
"Many waited for many days before medical aids and supplies
reached them," said the Dean of the Nepal deanery of the diocese of
Singapore in the Church of the Province of South East Asia, the
Revd Lewis Lew, on Tuesday. "In fact, a group of people living in
the mountains of Dhaging district are still cut off from the
outside world. Some members from villages of the higher mountain
ranges have trekked for days to the base to seek help. They
reported that all the buildings and houses in their villages are
completely destroyed. . .
"To reach them, it would take days of trekking on foot and mass
mobilisation of resources and manpower to deliver any aid and
supplies to about 30,000 villagers in the mountains."
"There has been massive destruction of roads and trails that
provide the only access to the remote areas near the epicentre,
making relief work nearly impossible," said the chief executive of
World Vision Australia, Tim Costello, on Monday. "As time passes,
there is a strong likelihood that those who have critical injuries
will not survive. Every second counts.
The number of dead stood on Wednesday at more than 7400.
World Vision's regional advocacy and justice for children
associate director for South Asia and Pacific, Deepesh Paul Thakur,
who is a Nepalese citizen, was in Kathmandu for a regional meeting
when the earthquake struck. On Friday, he described fleeing his
house with his family and praying outside while hearing people
screaming around them. He borrowed a motorcycle to drive around
searching for those due to attend the meeting and saw that "the
houses and temples I grew up with had crumbled down into the
Nepal was a poor country before the disaster struck, he said,
and the relief agencies had found that "the complexities of
geography are enormous. Nepal is landlocked, and there has been a
lot of congestion as we have just one international airport with
World Vision has reached a tenth of the 100,000 people it plans
to help in Nepal eventually.
The regional emergency manager at Christian Aid, Ram Kishan,
said on Wednesday that the challenges for agencies had been
"acute", but that aid was reaching remote regions.
Christian Aid has been working in Nepal for ten years, and has
five partners in the country. Although it has not had an office, it
is setting up a team of six Christian Aid staff members to provide
logistical, technical, and financial support for at least three
The monsoon season, which begins this month, means that agencies
are racing against the clock to the hundreds of thousands of people
who have lost their homes.
The Principal of Nepal Theolo-gical Seminary, Dr Bal Krishna
Sharma, said on Wednesday that the country must rebuild
"immediately and wisely".
People needed tin sheds, not tents, he said. "People can live in
tents when they are provided with ready-to-eat food every day, but
that is not the case here in Nepal. They have to cook their own
food in firewood; they will have some animals to take care of. They
have grains to keep."
The UK executive director of Samaritan's Purse, Simon
Barrington, said that rebuilding would take at least five years.
"Alleviating poverty builds resilience," he said. "When people get
access to capital to build better buildings, that helps the
resilience to natural disaster."
He referred to the charity's re-sponse to Typhoon Haiyan in the
Philippines, where it helped to build bamboo farms "so they can get
back to normal life and normal business".
"Massive financial resources are needed," Mr Lew said. "With the
country's current GDP, and the lack of resources, it may take years
for all affected by the quake to have their homes restored."