On July 30th, Global Human Rights Defence (GHRD) launched a crowdfunding effort to help the victims of the Nepalese earthquakes in the Ramechhap and Khokana regions. Villages in these districts have lost over 90% of their buildings and land, leaving the inhabitants without homes, food, or facilities. Through the crowdfunding, relief aid is being provided in the form of safe temporary housing, food, water, clothing, medicine, and other basic necessities. GHRD is working directly with two local partners to assess the needs and provide help in the two regions. Aiming to provide 7000 families with safe basic necessities, we are counting on your donations.
Because of the excessive damage to infrastructure across Nepal and widespread political disputes, the most vulnerable 10% of Nepalese citizens have yet to receive their share of the $4.1 million in donations sent to the Nepalese government. With the objective of providing assistance to this vulnerable population, GHRD is supporting the Village Development Committee (VDF) in Ramechhap and the Organisation for the Socio-Economic Development Nepal (OSED) in Khokana.
The earthquakes have particularly affected Ramechhap and Khokana due to the regions’ vulnerable locations close to the earthquakes’ epicenters and their mountainous terrain. This challenging topography renders many affected communities difficult to reach. Because of the ongoing aftershocks, any buildings that have not been destroyed yet are unsafe to live in. Moreover, the region has become vulnerable to human traffickers, who are taking advantage of the lack of secure housing and police enforcement to manipulate women and children into following them by offering jobs. Villagers are convinced that they can help their families if they take one of these ‘jobs’ where it will be ‘safe’; instead traffickers transport them to big cities in different countries and force their victims into prostitution and domestic work.
VDF has started distributing aid in Ramechhap. Thanks to the donations of our supporters, 20 food packages have reached this district. Each food package can sustain 7-10 family members with rice, peas, salt, sugar, and tea for a month. The packages also include pots, pans, plates, glasses, and a bucket. With the help of the police, the food packages have been distributed directly to villagers. Packages have been allocated to the 20 most vulnerable families, selected by a combination of local political leaders, social workers, and VDF. Further steps are being taken to provide shelter and bathroom facilities. Villagers within each community are working tenaciously to rebuild their villages and support each other.
In Khokana, OSED has established a voluntary group to assess the needs of every household. Villagers are salvaging as much material as possible from the debris in attempts to build temporary housing. All materials, both found and received through aid, are shared within each community to help every inhabitant. OSED has managed to establish bathroom facilities in Khokana, as well as to provide blankets, tents, and some basic food supplies. Further food packages and aid will reach the area throughout the crowdfunding period.
At this stage, only small quantities of disaster relief have been able to reach Ramechhap and Khokana. With your help, more families can receive the necessary equipment and nutrition to survive and rebuild their lives. The instability caused by the earthquakes has exacerbated conflicts between ethnic groups, thus further slowing down relief efforts. To that extent, strikes have now begun in Terai, the southern region of Nepal, due to cultural disparities between the region’s ethnic groups. Unrepresented and unrecognised, as well as politically oppressed for many decades, the Madhesi are now demanding attention by striking for more than 21 days, in response to changes being made to the Nepalese constitution. As a result, the transport system and markets have been closed, and the army has imposed a curfew on the region, obstructing VDF’s work in Ramechhap. Continued support is needed to enable VDF and OSED to help the 7000 families in Ramechhap and Khokana. Donate today to support these families!