Caterham Harestone Rotary funded two ShelterBoxes for the Nepal Earthquake Appeal. Each box costs £590 and contains a tent for a family of 6, sleeping bags, water purifying equipment, cooking equipment including a multi fuel stove, tools and things for children. Caterham Harestone Rotary provide funding for ShelterBoxes regularly as it provides a safe, fast and effective means of getting aid to where it is most needed making full use of the network of 1.2 million Rotarians around the globe.
The ShelterBox operations team was first able to get a clear idea of the level of destruction when Ashish Chaulagain, who is a member of Rotary International’s youth programme Rotaract, got in touch to explain situation in the capital of Kathmandu.
Ashish said: ‘The situation is that the environment is filled with fear. Still there is an expectation of more tremors and the weather forecast has also said to be alert. There is much damage in Kathmandu. Emergency relief is required that is for sure.’
The speed of information helped to inform ShelterBox’s decision to send an assessment team, made up of Phil Duloy (UK) and Nicola Hinds (UK) to the city.
The team arrived Monday afternoon and were met by local Rotarians, who were able to give them a full brief of the current situation.
Phil Duloy, part of the first ShelterBox response team to arrive in Nepal, said: ‘Each day the population of Nepal is experiencing thunder and heavy rains, and with the monsoon season coming, there is a possibility of flooding as well. With so many people sleeping outside, this terrible weather makes the speed of our response even more crucial.’
ShelterBox is sending shelter kits to Nepal, which will help people to clear rubble, mend structures and make sturdy temporary shelters that can be adapted and moved when needed. More ShelterBox response teams are on the way to identify the people most in need and to distribute aid.
However, ShelterBox has been able to provide tents to four hospitals in the city creating safe, covered spaces where patients can be treated in privacy. They will be used for carrying out minor operations, changing dressings and as mobile health clinics too.
Phil Duloy, ShelterBox response team member, said: ‘Most hospitals in Kathmandu have just been condemned, so we are immediately distributing our pre-positioned stocks in the city to give a space for the medical staff to treat the patients who have been evacuated in the hospital grounds.’
Fellow response team member and former nurse and midwife Nicola Hinds describes the scene at one of the hospitals. She said: ‘The devastation is enormous. My husband is a GP in Northern Ireland, and it really puts things into perspective about how lucky we are to have the NHS when you see the scene here. People are being treated in the open air with limited resources – the difference is staggering.’
ShelterBox is also sending further aid to Nepal, starting with an initial 500 shelter kits, which can be used to mend structures and create temporary shelters. However, our pre-positioned stocks of equipment in the country meant that the response team was able to start helping people whose lives have been shattered by the earthquake as soon as they arrived in the country.
We have aid pre-positioned all around the world to make sure that we can help people in need as soon as possible. Geeta Shrestha, Nursing Director at one of the four hospitals that received our tents, said: From my heart and from my hospital, I thank you.’
ShelterBox is sending an initial 500 shelter kits to Kathmandu to help provide shelter to the thousands of people who have been sleeping on the streets, despite the plummeting temperatures and thunderstorms. The shelter kits can be used in a variety of ways to help repair structures and create temporary shelters.
Local Rotarians will be further assisting ShelterBox by acting as consignee for the shelter kits, helping to import the aid into the country and take responsibility for it as it goes through customs.
The global network of Rotary clubs has been important to ShelterBox since it was formed in 2000. It was first adopted as the millennium project of the local Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard and in 2012 became Rotary International’s first project partner.
As our response in Nepal demonstrates, the partnership offers opportunities to collaborate and combine resources with Rotary clubs around the world to quickly provide emergency shelter for people affected by disasters and humanitarian crises.