Gorkha Earthquake – Second Anniversary
25 April 2017
When devastating earthquakes stuck Nepal on 25 April and 12 May 2015, the Red Cross mobilized immediately to provide more than 3,500,000 people with emergency relief and assistance, relief materials, health services, and water and sanitation facilities. Now the Red Cross is in a second phase of response, helping affected communities regain their resilience with a range of activities under an integrated recovery program. Thousands of families are rebuilding safer, more earthquake-resistant homes, with the help of Red Cross cash grants and technical support.
The Red Cross is not only helping families reconstruct houses; while the needs are still immense, Red Cross health, sanitation, drinking water, and livelihoods activities are helping improve lives across the areas that are recovering from the earthquake.
The Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS), supported by the International Red Cross Movement, has prepared an Integrated Recovery Program that is closely linked with Nepal Government priorities and guidelines for recovery and reconstruction. NRCS volunteers and workers have been working in all 14 districts most severely affected by the earthquakes, providing continuous support at the community level to those affected in both urban and extremely remote rural areas.
More than 4,000 masons trained by NRCS are engaged in reconstruction work. A small number of families have now moved into completed homes, having received all three tranches of their cash grant. The Red Cross has an agreement with the government to support 7,000 families across 7 districts in home reconstruction. Till date, 6,375 families have accessed the first tranche payments of NRs. 50,000, totaling NRs. 31,875,000. Over 800 families have collected the NRs. 150,000 second tranche, totaling NRs. 121,500,000. Currently 568 families have completed home construction and some of them have received the final tranches of cash grant.
The Red Cross is rebuilding or rehabilitating dozens of health posts, which provide a vital local service especially in remote villages. Work has already been concluded on four health posts, complete with birthing center facilities. Reconstruction work is ongoing for 47 health posts and one prefabricated hospital.
Red Cross support for health facilities, drinking water, sanitation and other initiatives are making an important contribution to improving people’s state of health. Also, NRCS has supported to construct family latrine and, social mobilization initiatives that contributed to ongoing Open Defecation Free campaign of Nepal Government. Latrine construction support to different institutions has been done. Drinking water schemes are under construction. A number of schools are also being reconstructed or retrofitted for earthquake resistance with Red Cross support.
The Red Cross has supported livelihoods activities by generating local opportunities, providing training, and delivering conditional cash grants. These include trainings on how to get the most out of off-season vegetable farming, cash-for-work opportunities, and cash grants for purchasing livestock and seed.
During the emergency relief phase, 4,217 families received NRs. 15,000 emergency cash assistance each, totaling NRs. 604,455,000. In addition, 49,996 families were provided each with NRs. 10,000 to help them survive the cold winter months; in total, NRs. 499,960,000 was distributed.
To maintain transparency: and in order to better understand needs and create responsive programs, the Red Cross is taking various approaches to communicate and engage with communities in innovative and impactful ways, including via social media and traditional media. Nepal Red Cross has launched a weekly newspaper column tackling readers’ questions, a free Red Cross Hotline 1130 accessible on Nepal’s two main telephone networks and a twice-weekly radio show. Street theatre has also been used extensively in outreach. Thousands of people interact with the Nepal Red Cross Society Facebook page, and hundreds of questions and suggestions have been received via suggestion boxes.
The Red Cross Movement has committed over NRs. 7.7 billion to integrated recovery programs following the Nepal earthquakes. By the end of March of 2017, 3.6 billion has been received and the expenditure is 2.8 billion. Out of this, the expenditure in emergency relief assistance (first phase) was NRs1.1 billion. Similarly, NRs. 1.6 billion and 30 million were the expenditure for integrated activities and component support, respectively, in recovery phase.
The recovery operation puts a specific focus on improving the Nepal Red Cross’ preparedness for future disasters. This includes rebuilding or rehabilitating buildings – including blood banks – damaged by the disaster, training volunteers to respond effectively to disasters, stocking locally relevant emergency relief items where they are most needed, and strengthening systems such as information technology, finance and local fundraising. Another initiative is setting up a mobile healthcare unit that will work with government medical staff to respond to disease outbreaks with focus on water borne diseases and other health emergencies in remote districts.
For more information please contact:
- Dibya Raj Poudel, Nepal Red Cross Society, Head of Humanitarian Values and Communications Department
Max Santner, Head, IFRC Nepal Country Office,
Tel +977 1 4285843 Cell +977 98011 42 422 or +977 98510 47071 firstname.lastname@example.org
In Kuala Lumpur:
- Patrick Fuller, communications manager, Asia Pacific, IFRC
Mobile: +60 122 308 451 E-mail: email@example.com Twitter: @pat_fuller
- Matthew Cochrane, Manager Media and Advocacy, IFRC
Mobile: +41 793 089 804 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @mahatmat