One Year Later: Nepal Earthquake News

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Our hearts are with Nepal’s mountain people today. As a tribute, here’s a link to our photo blog, “One Year After the Nepal Quakes: Resilience and Uncertainty as Remote Mountain Villages Rebuild”. Drs. Jeremy Spoon and Meeta Pradhan highlight the resilience, uncertainty and slow recovery in the Himalayan mountain communities where TMI has worked for decades.

Villagers haul rocks harvested from landslides to rebuild their homes in Gorkha District, Nepal.

Reflections on this past year from
TMI’s Himalayan Program Director, Dr. Meeta S. Pradhan:

Every time I read about (or feel) another aftershock here in Kathmandu, my heart goes out to the mountain communities, which have been hit so hard. One year after the devastating earthquakes, picking up pieces of their shattered lives continues to be punctuated with fear, uncertainty and untold hardships. Yet they are moving on with an incredible strength of character and perseverance. And they continue to open up their hearts and share their temporary shelters with us every time when we visit their villages.

I feel a deep sense of pain and frustration with the pace at which the recovery and rebuilding is moving.  One year after the devastation, lives and livelihoods are still disrupted for most of the people in the remote mountain communities. “Building back better” has never seemed such a far-fetched dream as it is right now. Yet it is amazing to see the communities relying on their traditions of self-help and labour exchange to clear the rubble and rebuild homes, even as they wonder if they will ever see the government grant for rebuilding their homes. Mountain people are facing yet another monsoon season spent under risky, rickety, temporary shelters. The continuing fear of further tremors and potential damages by the upcoming monsoon rains is very real and palpable – they are worried about how lives, livestock, agricultural land, schools, health clinics, roads and water sources will survive another onslaught.

I am at a loss for words to describe the tenacity of many of the women I have met in different villages after the earthquake. The physical hardship of their lives has increased many fold; protecting their families is top priority; they are worried and exhausted but they need to carry on. The power of these women everywhere as they continue to pull their families together is incredible–and inspiring.

One year after the natural disaster that hit Nepal, it is clear that the “man-made disaster”– inefficiency, apathy, lack of political will and additional hardships due to political conflict–has made a bad situation even worse. But the resilience, hard work and strength of the survivors should be supported by a growing sense of urgency, responsibility and accountability by all who are involved.”

For more info about TMI’s work in hard-hit mountain areas of Nepal during this past year, check out the following photo blogs:

Field Trip to Dhading, Nepal
The People of Haku
Nepal: Relief and Rebuild

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