Aug 4, 2015

Notes from the Field

Line for soap and bodily hygiene products
Line for soap and bodily hygiene products

By the time you read this report it will have been three and a half months since severe earthquakes devastated large areas of Nepal.  The little town of Rajbash in the Kavre district, home to the DCWC community hospital, was 70% destroyed. Livestock was lost. Rice and animal feed stored in homes was spoiled. Power poles were covered by landslides. Our hospital sustained damage to the second floor and the walls of our staff quarters were cracked. 

The DCWC and hospital staff together with local volunteers were some of the first on the ground in our remote district to distribute tents, blankets, food and medicine to villagers traumatized by the 7.8M earthquake and its aftershocks. They immediately started buying rice and other basic necessities of daily life in Kathmandu and distributed them to the people, many of whom lost everything in the earthquakes. With rented vehicles they hauled supplies to drop-off points from where they were carried on the backs of DCWC staff and volunteers into even remote villages. In the small window between the first and the second big earthquakes, the hospital held a free health camp for earthquake victims, treating 520 people in 12 days.

Throughout these relief activities, the DCWC has collaborated with the government and local leaders to assess accurately who needs assistance.  Volunteers then distributed the supplies based on these assessments  to those who actually needed help.  Records were kept as to who received aid. 

The DCWC’s emergency relief efforts, both in the field and at the hospital were bold and selfless and undoubtedly saved lives. They were instrumental in giving hope to people in the midst of incredible devastation. 

Now that the most immediate needs for medical attention, for food, comfort and temporary shelter have been met, and while the damage to the hospital compound is being repaired, DCWC staff are helping villagers to prepare for the next phase of the earthquake relief effort. Still a time of transition, it will try to provide families with more secure shelter to protect them through enough seasons until they can rebuild what they have lost.

Experts estimate that it will take 5-10 years to rebuild the village areas of  Nepal. In the meantime, people will be helped to build temporary structures that are meant to last 2-5 years.  They will be 10‘x20’ with two rooms.  Rock and mud walls (topped with cement) constitute the base, with bamboo for the walls, topped off with a tin roof.  Post and beam construction provides the framework.  The government is providing $150 for each family which will go toward buying the doors and windows.  DCWC is providing $250 each for cement and tin and a supervisor.  Most impressive and unexpected is the fact that the army is providing the labor (providing their worker’s tents, food and supplies so that they won’t have to rely on the village for anything).  At present 72 temporary structures are to be built in the Nagre Gagarche district, of which Rajbash is a part. A sample structure has been built on the grounds of the hospital!

Who will get relief and temporary shelters in each district is decided by  Disaster Management Committees organized by the government, in conjunction with local leaders. Many long and inclusive meetings were held to determine what type of “temporary” housing is to replace the tents and plastic canopies sheltering people right now.

Mr. Akka Lama, head of the DCWC Nepal, shared the following reflecting  the new rules: “M. Tamang, 58 yrs old, is an inhabitant of Rajabas village - she is a single woman, has got her small house made from stone, mud and wood, damaged due to earthquake. She has got a few goats and a little land for agricultural production which is her income source for living. Fortunately there were no any human and animal losses with her. She was in trouble to remove rubbish and to build new house for shelter but does not have money for food and building house. She did not get government monetary support NPT 15,000 because she could not present land holding certificate - she was living with land of other people.  So, DCWC volunteers mobilized in Rajabas area, met her house and support her to dismantle her damaged house and deposit rubbish in appropriate place. DCWC volunteers are supporting her to build temporary house and hope she will return there from tarpaulin shed soon. She says that she thanks volunteers come from different places to support in Rajabas and likes to thank DCWC for providing her rice, tarpaulin and other relief materials. She likes to thank those people who helped her in this type of great disaster and trouble and felt great help.”

It is simply impossible for us to imagine the devastation that rocked, and still rocks Nepal.  At the same time the resilience and strength of the response on the part of the DCWC and locals and the government is heartening, as is the generous help that all of you have provided. Please continue to support our Nepali friends through this next phase of earthquake recovery.

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution of immediate relief items
Distribution of immediate relief items
Tamang woman in front of her destroyed house.
Tamang woman in front of her destroyed house.
The DCWC Reconstruction team
The DCWC Reconstruction team
Jul 30, 2015

Solar Power Update - We did it!

The new solar panels on top of staff residence
The new solar panels on top of staff residence

In the midst of heartbreaking news from earthquake devastated Nepal there came a ray of light. Literally. 

The solar energy system that was to make our hospital independent of the unreliable Nepali electrical grid;

that we had painstakingly researched, saved money for and purchased, 

and that was delivered to Rajbash just before the earth started to move, 

was found to be safe, undamaged, and waiting to be installed. 

On June 16th we received the first pictures of this glorious installation.

Perched high atop our staff building, it is now providing electricity for the entire hospital compound.

Sutures by light of a candle or flashlight, diagnostics without x-ray machine, the first cry of a newborn drowned out by the

noisy hum of a gas powered generator, all these are finally a thing of the past. 

We are filled with gratitude for all of you who have made this happen.

In the aftermath of the earthquakes that devastated countless villages and destroyed the existing power infra structure, this new installation has already proven its usefulness way beyond the regular hospital activities. The hospital grounds became a kind of command center for around the clock relief efforts in the region. It was a safe place where village development councils could meet with government agents and DCWC staff to debate and decide relief and rebuilding strategies. It was the place from which volunteers fanned out to conduct needs assessments, then came back at night to pool their information and organize relief efforts. And it is from there that the rebuilding effort is now being directed.

If you want to find out more about our hospital and the relief efforts please go to ‘globalgiving.org’ and in the ‘I care about’ line enter 'DCWC'.

Storage batteries
Storage batteries
The 'brain'
The 'brain'
Close-up
Close-up
The charge controller
The charge controller
A look behind a panel
A look behind a panel
May 5, 2015

Earthquake Relief

Lost amid the ruins
Lost amid the ruins

Dear friends of Nepal and the DCWC:

Even though we just sent you an update on activities of the Rajbash Hospital we feel it is important to follow it up with this note.

As everyone knows by now, the country of Nepal was struck by a powerful, 7.8 magnitude, earthquake that devastated large parts of the country and killed more than 7000 people, injuring many many more, so far. Many villages have been completely destroyed and large sections of Kathmandu and surrounding cities have suffered heavily. The village of Langtang, the destinations of one of last year's charity treks, lies in ruins. Ongoing aftershocks continued to terrorize the population most of whom huddled and slept in open spaces for days to avoid further injuries. The already weak transportation infrastructure is broken. Government bureaucracy and political considerations are delaying the distribution of aid shipments waiting at the Kathmandu airport. The only way in to many remote areas is by helicopters, and they are in short supply. We just spoke with German officials who reported trying to deliver airtransports with a sizeable number of sturdy Antonov helicopters plus supplies. Since the Kathmandu airport is to small for the transport planes to land they requested permission from China to land planes there. Permission was denied because of security concerns!

Bottom line, this is a disaster of epic proportions:  entire communities have been destroyed;  the nearest neighbors are buried under rubble;  there is no electricity,  safe drinking water is scarce and food is running out.  Survivors are waiting for help that has been promised but has not come for over a week.  They crouch under flimsy pieces of torn plastic for the night, wandering in a daze as their known world has ended.  Soon the monsoons will be there, making relief efforts so much more difficult.

The people of Nepal need our help now!   We can begin to make a difference by supporting local relief efforts by known entities.  

While in the village of Rajbash many houses were damaged or destroyed, the DCWC hospital remained unscathed by the earth movement and is serving as a focal point for relief efforts in that rural area.  The government has chosen to work with our hospital to secure the area and distribute needed supplies.  Akka Lama, the head of the DCWC, is currently in Rajbash.  We want to share with you his last two communications as well as some pictures of the situation on the ground. 

Note of 4/29: I and my family are fine. there are over 4600 people have Died and over 10000 people in hospital.dead body is finding now more and more. Many House have been destroyed,several cows,buffalo have died at our village.our Small Monastery at Rajbash  have been destroyed.We decided to keep open our hospital 24hour and all service and medicine are free. Our medical team is planning to make mobile Heath camp.

Guna is having meeting at District office at Dhulikheal.there is not any chance to bring injured people at city because of there is not enough bed and everywhere death body.

We need urgent support to provide immediate temporary tent,Blanket,food,medicine etc.  Many Prayers, Akka Lama   DCWC Community Hospital

Note of May 4: Hello All, Nepal government was happy to send us DCWC Community Hospital Area to support Earthquake victim:

Government Representative Mr.Punja Lal Shrestha, 2 Security Police (Home minister office),Mr.Kancha Ram Tamang (Former Vice Chairman of Kavre District),Journalist Mr.Ujad Raktim ,team of DCWC Nepal and 35 volunteer form many different areas (Social worker, Teacher, representative of Political party) works over 70 hour to visit every village to find out real victim. We have visited 519 Houses.

Our DCWC Community Hospital opens 24 Hour a day and treatment over 200 people every day. We decided 7 day for free treatment for Earthquake victim.

We provided for over 200 Houses:

1. Tent

2. Rice -Dal-Cooking Oil-Salt-batten Rice-biscuit etc

3. Metrex

4. Medicine

Please find some picture. We are planning to move other area to support earthquake victim. Thank you all you making possible.  Best Regards.  Akka Lama.

There are two ways of helping the people of Nepal through Global Giving:  Please make a donation to either

  • The Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund (on the first page when you go to globalgiving.org). These funds will be channeled through non-governmental organizations in Nepal known to Global Giving. 

  or

  • the DCWC Hospital (globalgiving.org , then enter 14750 in the search bubble). This will go directly to the Rajbash hospital earthquake relief efforts.

This devastating event requires our intervention. Please consider making a generous donation to this effort. 

Thank you in advance for your support! 

 

 

 

This was someone's home.
This was someone's home.
Rajbash Hospital staff distributing supplies
Rajbash Hospital staff distributing supplies
Supplies being distributed on hospital grounds
Supplies being distributed on hospital grounds
A now homeless woman getting supplies
A now homeless woman getting supplies

Links:

 
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