Nepal earthquake: Reaching remote communities affected by the monsoon
Four months after Nepal was struck by an earthquake, over 2.8 million people are still in need of help. Handicap International continues to support vulnerable people in remote communities that have become increasingly inaccessible due to the monsoon.
Chusang Tamang, 10, was injured in the earthquake by debris falling as he played outside his house. It is expected that Chusang will be able to walk in two months.Nepal. | © Lucas Veuve / Handicap International
More than 8,800 people were killed and over 22,300 injured in the earthquake that hit Nepal on 25th April 2015. Overall, more than 2.8 million people have been affected. Heavy monsoon rains have heightened the risk of landslides and are currently making it more difficult for communities to access humanitarian services.
Four months on, needs remain high. “There are still earth tremors, some in the last few days,” explains Jeremy Mouton, Handicap International’s reporting officer in Nepal. “There are regular aftershocks. Since the earthquake, people get scared very easily. It’s vital to provide them with help, including psychosocial support.”
Since 25th April, Handicap International’s physiotherapy teams have provided post-traumatic care, organised more than 8,000 rehabilitation sessions and distributed more than 1,300 mobility aids (wheelchairs, crutches, walking frames and splints) to more than 1,900 people affected by the disaster. We have intervened in 20 medical facilities, and worked with communities in seven districts.
“Fewer people are now arriving in hospitals with problems connected to the earthquake, so our teams have scaled down their emergency response. In contrast, Handicap International has stepped up its efforts to help communities in seven districts and has set up “travelling points” where local people can take part in rehabilitation sessions, access mobility aids and benefit from psychosocial support, without having to travel dozens of kilometres. We broadcast radio messages every week to tell people where the travelling points are going to be. During the monsoon season, a lot of roadways are blocked. Our priority is to ensure everyone affected by the earthquake can benefit from our services,” adds Jeremy.
Handicap International has also been helping to transport humanitarian aid to various distribution points in villages and communities. Since 12th May, we have been tasked with managing one of two humanitarian aid storage centres in Kathmandu, and storage areas in the districts of Dhading, Nuwakot and Rasuwa.
Making services accessible to all
We have also set up a hotline so that everyone can benefit from our services. Handicap International’s Inclusion Technical Unit works with all humanitarian organisations to help ensure that they include the most vulnerable people affected by the earthquake. We also help coordinate community forums and working groups, to ensure the needs of all vulnerable people are taken into account.