In April 2015, Nepal was struck by a sudden and devastating earthquake, bringing the already poverty stricken country to its knees. Now, one year later, we reflect on what has been achieved to help the Nepalese people back to their feet, the progress made in establishing a sustainable way of life and what lies ahead for the beautiful Himalayan state. The 7.8 Magnitude earthquake struck central Nepal on April 25th, and was followed by a second earthquake on May 12th of 7.3 magnitude. These two strikes brought a level of destruction and death to the Nepalese people that had not been seen for some 80 years.
As a direct result of the quake, 8,898 people died and a further 20,000 were injured. Entire villages, towns, farms and livelihoods were crippled overnight as communities witnessed everything they had lived for submit to the unforgiving terrain they had called home.
GOAL’s senior emergency response team arrived on the ground within 48 hours of the quake and immediately went about providing life-preserving assistance to people living in Rasuwa, Dhading, Nuwakot and Sindhupalchowk districts.
Over the following months, our work focused on providing critical humanitarian assistance, shelter and seasonal support to disaster-affected communities in six out of 14 of the most affected districts in Nepal. GOAL provided Non Food items like blankets and cooking equipment, along with shelter support assistance to more than 36,000 individuals.
GOAL’s focus has since evolved, moving on from the disaster response that was so important in the immediate aftermath of the earthquakes to supports that are aimed at providing long-term resilience and livelihoods assistance for displaced communities.
One of our major projects in Rasuwa and Ramechap districts sees us providing shelter support and winterization materials to vulnerable families, reducing disaster risk (DRR), promoting safe building, improving livelihoods options (through trainings on livestock raring), and generating employment opportunities through cash for work initiatives.
These initiatives are what is needed among communities that have lost almost everything and have every reason to be scared of losing more. The UN has said that approximately 8.1 million people are still in need of humanitarian assistance. The people of Nepal have experienced great difficulty in the past year, seeing a monsoon and the harsh Himalayan winter compound their tribulations.
GOAL is working hard to build resilience in the Nepalese way of life and living yet it is the inherent resilience of this courageous people that will ultimately see them survive.