May 6, 2015

ADRA Works Around Clock to Deliver Nepal Relief

ADRA is working around the clock to deliver much-needed tarps and food to families in remote villages badly damaged by an earthquake in Nepal on April 25.

Tough road conditions, including rubble from houses destroyed by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake, is making distribution difficult. ADRA workers are driving up to five hours and walking long distances in the mountainous districts of Dhading and Kavre with tarps and other relief materials.

“We are going to great lengths to ensure that even those who are hard to reach receive the urgent assistance that they need as soon as possible,” said Robert Patton, ADRA’s emergency response coordinator.

Over the past week, ADRA has distributed 1,278 tarps in the Dhading district; 900 tarps in Kavre; 50 tarps in the capital, Kathmandu; and 64 tents in Lalitpur.

It plans to add food distribution to its shelter distribution efforts later this week.

Families in remote villages expressed relief to see that they have not been forgotten.

“There is no food, no water, no gas,” said 42-year-old Sushila, mother of four before ADRA distributed tarps in her village. “We are using firewood to cook. The tarpaulin that houses the entire village has holes, so the rain comes through. There are 45 to 50 people sleeping under the tarp every night.”

Sushila was at the village temple when the earthquake struck. She, her husband, and children survived, but her cattle, which were tied to the home, died under a collapsed wall.

“Right now what we need most is a place to stay and something to eat,” she said.

ADRA distributed tarps in her village on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Adventist Church in Nepal pressed ahead with efforts to provide shelter and food to believers who lost everything in the earthquake.

Read “Adventists in Nepal Timidly Return to Church After Quake”

Umesh Pokharel, president of the Adventist Church in Nepal, led a relief team to the remote village of Pangratar village, near the Chinese border, on Tuesday.

“When reached the village we found that around 250 people — 84 families — were waiting for relief materials,” Pokharel told the Adventist Review.

The visitors met with the local church pastor, Bishnu Raooka, and local political leaders and distributed sacks of rice, boxes of instant noodles, biscuits, and tents.

“Our main focus is on our members, but we also care for the other people in the local community and give them an equal share,” Pokharel said.

His team also installed a much-needed water purification system in the village.

“It was a long day,” he said. “We met many elderly people on the road and gave them tents and food. We also met children and gave them candy.”

The relief aid came from 100 sacks of rice, 100 boxes of noodles, 100 boxes of biscuits, and 64 tents that the Adventist Church in Nepal purchased on Monday.

No Adventists were among the more than 7,000 people who died in the earthquake. But Pokharel said he has heard sad stories from Adventists whose family members and friends were killed. In one village, Itay Sunwar, whose two sons and daughter are church members, stayed outside with the goats while his wife went into the house to rest on the day of the earthquake. When the ground began shaking, he shouted to his wife to leave the house quickly.

“While she was trying to get out, the roof of house fell and both sides of the walls caved in,” Pokharel said. “She died the next day.”

The Adventist Church team will travel to another village on Wednesday.

“People from various places have been asking for help and calling on us to visit,” Pokharel said. “We are so thankful to God for providing everything that we have needed. But we still see people need our help, and we need to do our best to help.”

He said he was grateful for support from the leadership of the Southern Asia Division and donors around the world who have provided funds to purchase aid.

“Please keep praying for us,” he said. “We need more supplies.”

Read “Quake Shakes U.S. Church as Adventist Pastor Makes Nepal Appeal”