Nepal earthquake: six months on

Thursday, November 5, 2015 - 11:25

Stories from Nepal:

Krishla's Story

As five-year-old Krishla beams in front of the camera it is difficult to imagine that she is the same girl who was badly injured and in need of urgent medical aid after Nepal's earthquake in April this year.

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THEN: Wounded and exhausted: Krishna suffered a head injury in April when rubble showered upon her.

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NOW: Krishla is full of smiles and is recovering from the trauma of the earthquake.

When ActionAid found Krishla in April, she was scared and bleeding after her house collapsed around her. The five-year-old was playing with her friends in the courtyard when the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck. As the rubble rained upon them; the children piled on top of one another.

They were trapped for half an hour while rescuers tried to free them. Once Krishla was pulled out, she needed urgent medical aid. Sadly it was too late for one of Krishla’s friends who died in the crush. The child was just one of nearly 9,000 people killed in the disaster.

ActionAid helped Krishla receive immediate medical aid for her head injuries, from which she has made a speedy recovery. Krishla is full of smiles now, playing with her older sister Kristina, 7, who also had to be pulled out of the rubble. Immediately after the earthquake, your support helped provide families like Krishla with temporary shelter as well as food and essential items. Your support is now helping ActionAid work with families like Krishla’s, to rebuild their homes and provides support to earn a living. Women’s group gatherings and children’s clubs set up thanks to your support are also helping communities recover from their trauma.

Shreya: 8 months pregnant surviving an earthquake

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Clutching her baby daughter in her arms, new mum Shreya looks the picture of good health.

But things could have turned out very differently for the 23-year-old after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal six months ago.

Shreya was eight months pregnant and at home when the first of two devastating quakes struck her country earlier this year. “When it happened I was at home,” said Shreya. “I was in my bedroom on the second floor. I clung on to the door.”

Once the ferocious shaking subsided, Shreya and her family fled from their home. Their neighbour’s houses had toppled. The expectant mother was also in pain and very worried because her baby had stopped moving.

Thankfully, Shreya's baby started to kick again after she and her family got a chance to recover while staying in a temporary shelter built by ActionAid.

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THEN: 8 months pregnant at the time of the quake and unable to evacuate, Shreya held on to a door for support, until the tremors subsided.

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NOW: Shreya with Sushreya, her four-month-old baby girl. Shreya and her husband hope the little girl would grow up to be a nurse and help people.

During times of an emergency, it may be easy to overlook the needs of women and girls. This is why dignity kits containing essential items required by women, like underwear, soap, sanitary items and clothing were distributed to Shreya as well as 7,104 other women and girls in Nepal. Women also received a torch for their safety, since research shows that women and girls are at high risk of violence during times of an emergency. Shreya was also given a relief kit which included rice, oil, dahl, and essential food supplies. A month after the quake Shreya returned home after the building was deemed safe by government inspectors. Shreya lives with 12 members of her extended family. Her husband is training to be a plumber and has big dreams for his little girl.

Recovery after a disaster: Riya's Story

When we first met 10-year-old Riya, she was at the children’s club set up by ActionAid across 14 locations in Nepal, severely affected by the earthquake. Children were given the chance through fun games, drawing and activity to recover from the trauma of the earthquake.

Riya at the time was drawing a picture of upright buildings and tall trees - a stark contrast to the destruction and devastation she saw around her.

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THEN: Riya holds up her drawing of tall trees and upright buildings- her dreams for the future of her country.

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NOW: Arts and crafts activities at the children’s club is helping Riya cope with the trauma of the earthquake.

In addition to setting up children’s clubs across severely affected areas, your support also helped create 50 temporary learning centres for children. This means that girls like Riya can continue with their studies while the rebuilding and recovery work goes ahead.

Riya studies in grade 5 and is a part of the Child Learning Centre at Laltipur, Nepal.

Thank you!

Thanks to contributions from people like you, families in Nepal can rebuild their homes and livelihoods as part of the long term recovery work.

So far:

  • 126,776 people have been supported following the earthquake.
  • Approximately 3,800 temporary shelters have been constructed.
  • 50 temporary learning centres for children have been completed.
  • 7,104 women received dignity kits containing underwear, sanitary items, a comb, clothes, soap and a flashlight.
  • 23 women friendly spaces reaching 7,200 women have been established, giving women a safe place to come together in privacy and address the critical issues they face.
  • Social mobilisers (over 75% of whom are women) are actively involved in seeking out women in the community and getting regular feedback on issues that are affecting them.
  • 5,800 seed bins (large containers to store grains over a longer period of time) and 16,580 jute bags (bags made of natural fibres that are strong enough to carry vital supplies) have been distributed. 2,400 storage structures were built for farmers who were otherwise not receiving any support and were in danger of losing their crops and vital income because of the monsoon rains.
  • 2,000 households have benefitted from agricultural programs. 7.5% of which are Dalit (a hugely discriminated community) and 36% of which are indigenous nationalities in the Kavre district.

This update was originally published by ActionAid Australia.