Basic Needs - In and Around Kathmandu
Organized by: Ashley Hinson
Ashley Hinson via Crowdrise
May 20, 2015
***Click 'See More' below for day-to-day updates***
Since the catastrophic earthquake on April 25th, the people, the government and the international community have been working to provide the survivors, the necessities items for life: food, shelter, water.
Due to the scope of the disaster, it is difficult for those on the ground to get food and supplies every place it is needed, as quickly as it is needed.
We have heard from our friends, family and loved ones in and outside of Kathmandu, with requests for basic items: shelter (tents or tarps), blankets, basic food items, and medicine. We want to be able to help with these short-term needs until the aid, which has been generously given from within and outside of Nepal, can reach those who need it.
We have been able to get in touch with producers to get items like noodles, biscuits, tarps, blankets at a discounted rate. We will continue to reach out to vendors to make sure our money goes as far as possible.
We are trying to help on the individual level, in our own communities, and a little goes a long way. Again, this is just a small bit of help in those areas that we see with our own eyes, and just a drop in the bucket for what Nepal will need long-term.
Ashley Hinson Dhakal, Ankit Dhakal, and Jini Agrawal
Saturday May 2, 2015: We purchased $250 worth of cleaning and basic sanitation supplies for 150 families in 3 villages near Lele, just outside of Kathmandu. Several homes were destroyed and nearly all had significant damage.
Sunday May 3, 2015: Jini spent the afternoon calling manufacturers and distributors and managed to get 246 blankets for Rs. 350 ($3.50 each) and 300 mats for Rs. 120 ($1.20 each), as well as basic medicines for the village of Helambu (antiseptic, anti-diarrheal and first aid supplies) for around Rs. 9,000 ($90)
Monday May 4, 2015: Jini left for Helambu to deliver the supplies, while Ashley and Ankit worked in Kathmandu to find more blankets, mats and foodstuffs for the people of Sindhuli. We are planning our delivery trip for this week.
Tuesday May 5, 2015: Jini accompanied some BBC journalists to Sindhupalchowk, while Ankit, me and a couple of our family members tried to reach Thungpal Dap village within Sindhupalchowk district. Our vehicle couldn't make it up the uneven and muddy roads with hundreds of kgs of rice, but by some amazing coincidence, a friend of mine happened to be driving by. She helped us coordinate a pickup for the next day in a nearby town. We saved a few bags of rice and gave them to houses along the road that were completely destroyed. One woman had lost 9 members of her family and was sorting through the rubble for anything salvageable..
Wednesday, May 6, 2015: Jini trying to find a way to reach some very inaccessible places, while Ankit and I received calls from people in need of blankets and tents... tents are difficult to find, but we continue to look...picking up 100 blankets on Wednesday
Thursday, May 7, 2015: We were able to get 100 blankets for 425 rupees ($4.25) each, and they are quite large (6x7ft) and thick. These are very much needed in Gorkha district and we were able to give them to a team of alumni from Ankit's school to add to their delivery to the district. Jini returned to her office at Habitat for Humanity where they're discussing housing options for those that have lost their homes. We're brainstorming the feasability of helping to contruct low-cost temporary shelters that are suitable for monsoon season.
Friday, May 8, 2015: Final preparations for the trip to Sindhuli on Sunday - we ordered 200 more blankets for the district. It isn't enough to meet the need, but it is all that will fit in the truck, as they are bulky (see 1st picture in slideshow above) - another trip may be required, but we will know more after Sunday. We also received a call from our friend who works at a local organization that is making meals everyday for local people in the Valley affected by the earthquake. They desperately need more rice, and so tomorrow we will bring 30 sacks of rice to them.
Saturday, May 9 - Tuesday, May 12, 2015: We sent 200 blankets to Sindhuli and had to unexpectedly travel for a few days to the south of Nepal. While traveling we experienced the strongest aftershock since the initial earthquake. We have received calls for help as well as requests from family and friends to help, so for now, we will accept donations and will ensure that goods are delivered to where they are needed most.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015: Somehow we managed to find nice low-price tarps - 9x12 ft. for just $8.20 each. 100% waterproof. We have 50 now, along with 50 more blankets, 25 blankets are going to Namo Buddha and 25 are going to a village in Sindhuli district that we discovered got damaged quite badly.
Wednesday May 20, 2015: It's been a week since I posted for a couple reasons - we had to take a few days off to recuperate. We realized that we've been going non-stop since the earthquake and we had to deal with our own experience of trauma in order to move forward ourselves. Also, since the quake last Tuesday, many roads have remained closed so a planned trip to Dolakha last Saturday has been put on hold (hopefully the road will reopen this Saturday).
Still, we've managed to get 250 more blankets, 40 more tarps and 400 bars of soap - all to be split between Sindhuli and Dolakha. After the quake last Tuesday, we learned that all the houses which were only damaged in Sindhuli, were now destroyed - same for Dolakha, though their case is much worse as the road is still closed. More than anything, blankets have been our most requested item.
This is the last day-to-day update, as we've completed distributing supplies provided by your generous contributions. In the next few days we will post a summary of everything purchased and where it was distributed. And throughout the coming week, we will post remaining pictures.
Again, we want to thank everyone so much - this has been a very difficult time for all of us here. We feel lucky that we are safe and have a home, but the pain from those that are not so fortunate is still palpable in the air and in our communities. Having these basic supplies - food, soap, blankets, means so much to the people we've met. I hope that I can convey their gratitude to you all as it wouldn't have been possible without you.
5/30/15 Update: Please click here to see the spreadsheet of expenses - what we've purchased, where it's been delivered, and how many families were reached since the beginning of the fundraiser. Thank you all once again!