Nepal Quake Update: Prioritizing Water and Sanitation

Water and Hygiene Action Against Hunger

April 29, 2015

Some of our 12-person emergency team have arrived in Nepal. Their primary mission is to conduct rapid assessments of the humanitarian needs, so they can begin to provide water, sanitation services, hygiene kits as well as food security and mental health interventions.

11 tons of materials are also ready to leave from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. The load will include:

  • 9.5 tonnes of water sanitation, and hygiene materials like water purification units, chlorine tablets, pumps, bladders, taps, construction materials for toilets, and potties for young children
  • Equipment to establish “baby friendly spaces” that are dedicated to mothers and children and staffed by specialists to help people suffering from trauma
  • Tarpaulins and tents to house emergency offices as well as an electric generator

Water and hygiene are the priority for ACF. Right now, there is a lack of water in Kathmandu. More than just an issue of quantity, the quality of water will become problematic which causes a huge risk for survivors. Grouped together in families under a tent, or without shelter, survivors need safe water and sanitation.

The isolated rural areas must also receive humanitarian help as soon as possible. ACF is deeply concerned as 80% of the Nepalese population lives and works in rural areas. This means that the majority of victims are still waiting for help.

Given that they are smaller and more simply constructed, we hope that when the houses collapse in villages and rural areas, we will see less deaths than in the more built-up towns. But the situation for rural Nepalese people is not easy. Without their homes, their food supplies and with no access to water, an earthquake of this size has without a doubt made them very vulnerable. As was the case in Pakistan, deployment of aid to these people will be long and difficult, and will require helicopters as well as more traditional means, including transportation by donkey,” said Taillandier.

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala said yesterday that the death toll is estimated to reach 10,000. If this occurs, the death toll will be higher than the 8,500 killed in the largest earthquake Nepal has faced in 1934.

Help us respond to the earthquake in response and donate today.


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