MCC provides blankets and warm clothing in Nepal

Families hit by earthquake still in temporary shelter

BHASBHASE, Nepal
 Jiwan Lama (volunteer) helps distribute winter supplies during a distribution done through MCC’s partner, Sansthagat Bikas Sanjal (Sanjal) in the village of Bhasbase, Nepal. The distribution provided materials to about 30 households in Dhading District, where homes were destroyed or heavily damaged by the April 25, 2015 earthquake. Sanjal operates through a network of local community based organizations. MCC has worked alongside Sanjal in the districts of Surkhet, Dhading, Okhaldunga and Banke districts on a variety of projects, such as HIV/AIDS prevention, food security, rural education, peacebuilding and disaster response. MCC photo by Matthew Sawatzky

Jiwan Lama (volunteer) helps distribute winter supplies during a distribution done through MCC’s partner, Sansthagat Bikas Sanjal (Sanjal) in the village of Bhasbase, Nepal. The distribution provided materials to about 30 households in Dhading District, where homes were destroyed or heavily damaged by the April 25, 2015 earthquake. Sanjal operates through a network of local community based organizations. MCC has worked alongside Sanjal in the districts of Surkhet, Dhading, Okhaldunga and Banke districts on a variety of projects, such as HIV/AIDS prevention, food security, rural education, peacebuilding and disaster response. MCC photo by Matthew Sawatzky

On April 25, 2015, when an earthquake rocked his village in Nepal, Sudarshan Chepang and his family huddled inside their home as it collapsed around them. After the shaking subsided all that remained was rubble. They gathered what they could, mostly utensils, and fled outside.

Nine months later, Chepang, his wife and their two young children are still living in a temporary shelter made of salvaged materials, tarps and sheet metal. They have already endured the monsoon season, when moisture seeped in and spoiled food and bedding in some homes.

Now that it’s winter, he’s worried about what comes next.

“We know it will be cold. But where else can we go?” Chepang says. “This is the only place that we have because we cannot build a new house yet.”

 Sudarshan Chepang (22), Jamuna Chepang (18), baby boy Jibesh Chepang (16 months) in their temporary shelter in the village of Bhasebhase, in the Dhading District of Nepal. Their home was destroyed by an earthquake on April 25, 2015. MCC, through its partner, Sansthagat Bikas Sanjal (Sanjal), delivered winter supplies to Bhasbhase in December, 2015. Sanjal operates through a network of local community based organizations. MCC has worked alongside Sanjal in the districts of Surkhet, Dhading, Okhaldunga and Banke on a variety of projects, such as HIV/AIDS prevention, food security, rural education, peacebuilding and disaster response. MCC photo by Matthew Sawatzky

Sudarshan Chepang (22), Jamuna Chepang (18), baby boy Jibesh Chepang (16 months) in their temporary shelter in the village of Bhasebhase, in the Dhading District of Nepal. Their home was destroyed by an earthquake on April 25, 2015. MCC, through its partner, Sansthagat Bikas Sanjal (Sanjal), delivered winter supplies to Bhasbhase in December, 2015. Sanjal operates through a network of local community based organizations. MCC has worked alongside Sanjal in the districts of Surkhet, Dhading, Okhaldunga and Banke on a variety of projects, such as HIV/AIDS prevention, food security, rural education, peacebuilding and disaster response. MCC photo by Matthew Sawatzky

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is assisting families such as the Chepangs as they await the construction of new homes. In December 2015, MCC’s partner Sansthagat Bikas Sanjal distributed blankets, mattresses, plastic sheeting, tarps and jackets through local organizations to some 30 households in Bhasbhase, in Nepal’s Dhading District.

“This is very welcome, especially for our children,” says Chepang. “Now we have blankets and they will be warm.”

More than 30 districts across Nepal are still struggling with the impact of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake, as well as a second quake a few weeks later. More than 8,200 people died and more than 488,000 homes were affected. Toilets and drinking water systems were heavily damaged.

In Dhading District, 59 percent of homes were totally damaged and 25 percent were partially damaged.

While the government of Nepal is promising financial support for people whose homes were destroyed, rebuilding efforts have been hampered by an ongoing political crisis and a critical fuel shortage.

 After receiving their winterization materials, the people of Bhasbhase village in Dhading District, Nepal, hike back up the mountain to their homes. They received the supplies from the MCC partner Sansthagat Bikas Sanjal (Sanjal). Sanjal is an MCC partner in Nepal that operates through a network of local community based organizations. MCC has worked alongside Sanjal in the districts of Surkhet, Dhading, Okhaldunga and Banke districts on a variety of projects, such as HIV/AIDS prevention, food security, rural education, peacebuilding and disaster response. MCC photo by Matthew Sawatzky

After receiving their winterization materials, the people of Bhasbhase village in Dhading District, Nepal, hike back up the mountain to their homes. They received the supplies from the MCC partner Sansthagat Bikas Sanjal (Sanjal). Sanjal is an MCC partner in Nepal that operates through a network of local community based organizations. MCC has worked alongside Sanjal in the districts of Surkhet, Dhading, Okhaldunga and Banke districts on a variety of projects, such as HIV/AIDS prevention, food security, rural education, peacebuilding and disaster response. MCC photo by Matthew Sawatzky

Juliana Yonzon, MCC’s program coordinator in Nepal, says thousands of people will spend several more months in temporary housing, sometimes with poor sanitation facilities.

“We are worried about the impact of this on hygiene, especially for children,” Yonzon says. “As their immune systems are weakened by the cold, they can be more susceptible to pneumonia.”

Since mid-December, MCC and its partners have provided some 1,280 households with materials such as blankets and winter jackets, in the districts of Dhading, Lalitpur and Okhaldhunga.

Ultimately, the goal is to have permanent housing ready or underway before the next monsoon season in May. Working alongside local partners, MCC plans to support the most vulnerable people in four districts by helping them access government rebuilding funds. MCC also hopes to support the training of masons and carpenters to work on new housing: MCC would build model homes as examples of how earthquake resistant housing should be done, eventually donating the homes to families chosen by the community.

Yonzon says as MCC works with partners in several communities, she’s impressed with the resiliency of the Nepali people.

“Through earthquakes, fuel blockades, they still get up each morning and do what they can to earn an income, take care of their children and deal with a situation that is not ideal,” Yonzon says. “I hope that we can help them as they work together to rebuild their lives.”

—Julie Bell is a writer for MCC Canada.

View this story on MCC’s website: http://mcccanada.ca/stories/mcc-provides-blankets-warm-clothing-nepal

 Tanka Bahadur Thapa Magar’s (60) house in the Dhading District of Nepal was destroyed in the earthquake on April 25, 2015. MCC partner, Shanti Nepal, provided emergency assistance in the days after the earthquake. MCC is planning, through its partnership with Shanti Nepal, to assist with the rebuilding of health care facilities and support projects which help people in earthquake affected areas maintain livelihoods. Through its account at Canadian Foodgrains Bank, MCC also works with Shanti Nepal on nutrition training for mothers of young children. MCC photo by Matthew Sawatzky

Tanka Bahadur Thapa Magar’s (60) house in the Dhading District of Nepal was destroyed in the earthquake on April 25, 2015. MCC partner, Shanti Nepal, provided emergency assistance in the days after the earthquake. MCC is planning, through its partnership with Shanti Nepal, to assist with the rebuilding of health care facilities and support projects which help people in earthquake affected areas maintain livelihoods. Through its account at Canadian Foodgrains Bank, MCC also works with Shanti Nepal on nutrition training for mothers of young children. MCC photo by Matthew Sawatzky

 

 Ashmita Chepang (7), and Ashmika Chepang (4) wearing the jackets they received through MCC partner Sansthagat Bikas Sanjal (Sanjal), in December 2015. The jackets were part of a distribution of winter supplies to about 30 households in the village of Bhasbhase, Nepal, where many homes were destroyed in the April 25th earthquake. Sanjal is an MCC partner in Nepal that operates through a network of local community based organizations. MCC has worked alongside Sanjal in the districts of Surkhet, Dhading, Okhaldunga and Banke districts on a variety of projects, such as HIV/AIDS prevention, food security, rural education, peacebuilding and disaster response.

Ashmita Chepang (7), and Ashmika Chepang (4) wearing the jackets they received through MCC partner Sansthagat Bikas Sanjal (Sanjal), in December 2015. The jackets were part of a distribution of winter supplies to about 30 households in the village of Bhasbhase, Nepal, where many homes were destroyed in the April 25th earthquake. Sanjal is an MCC partner in Nepal that operates through a network of local community based organizations. MCC has worked alongside Sanjal in the districts of Surkhet, Dhading, Okhaldunga and Banke districts on a variety of projects, such as HIV/AIDS prevention, food security, rural education, peacebuilding and disaster response.

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