Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .




DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Nepal quake survivors turn porters to deliver aid
By Ammu KANNAMPILLY
Bigu, Nepal (AFP) Sept 21, 2015


Her back hunched over, Nepali villager Sanchimaya Thami strained to make the last stretch of a five-hour trek to deliver critical relief supplies to other victims of April's devastating earthquake.

The 36-year-old is one of some 10,000 survivors of the disaster hired as porters to bring food, medicines and shelter materials to remote Himalayan villages cut off by the 7.8-magnitude quake that hit on April 25, killing nearly 8,900 people.

"I used to be a farmer, but now I have no farm, it's all gone," Thami told AFP, as she recounted the impact of the quake and massive aftershock that followed in May, which wiped out her village of Bigu in northeastern Dolakha district.

"We had no food to eat, we had nowhere to live -- it took about a week before help arrived," Thami said as she dropped off a 30-kilogramme (65-pound) sack of lentils for her fellow villagers.

The disaster destroyed roads, leaving villages like Bigu cut-off from vital supplies and creating a "logistical nightmare" for aid agencies, said Stephen Anderson, emergency coordinator for the World Food Programme, which is funding the scheme.

"This is some of the most challenging terrain WFP has operated in globally", Anderson told AFP.

"We desperately needed to access villages where choppers couldn't land either because of the steep terrain or the weather... we were facing an emergency," he said.

- Lessons from mountaineers -

While the agency struggled to find a way out of the crisis, a small team of Nepali and foreign mountaineers made their way to the quake epicentre in Gorkha district.

Argentinian mountaineer Damian Benegas was on Mount Everest, planning to summit the world's highest peak for a sixth time when the disaster struck on April 25, triggering a deadly avalanche.

The 46-year-old climber arrived unscathed in Kathmandu six days later and travelled on to Gorkha, determined to help.

He considered hiring a helicopter to run air drops, but was deterred by the cost, which ran into thousands of dollars.

"We realised that we needed to approach this whole thing creatively.

"As mountaineers, we rely hugely on porters to move supplies and I thought we could do the same here, move more goods for a fraction of the cost of a chopper," he told AFP.

Over the next few days, the volunteers and villagers lifted rocks and cleared away debris in a bid to open up blocked mountain paths and begin the delivery of tents, blankets, food and water provided by non-profits.

By the time WFP suggested expanding the programme to cover other districts, Benegas and his fellow climbers had paid wages to around 1,000 villagers in Gorkha.

- Economic lifeline -

Today, the operation is responsible for delivering aid to 40,000 quake victims with climbers like Benegas assessing trails while Nepal's mountaineering and trekking associations organise porters' insurance and payments.

With April's quake hitting just weeks before the monsoon season, frequent downpours and rain-triggered landslides pose serious challenges to the porters' work, Benegas said.

"We fix a trail, then it rains and all our work is washed away, the trail simply disappears," he said.

The quake-hit trails were critical economic lifelines, connecting villagers with schools, medical facilities and markets.

Furthermore, in a country which has seen tourism take a nosedive since the disaster, officials say trail repair may hold the key to Nepal's recovery.

"It is essential that these trails are repaired so we can assure tourists about safety," said Ang Tshering Sherpa, president of the Nepal mountaineering association.

"We need people to go back to work... it is important to revive the tourism industry and make it safe for trekkers to visit."

Operations are set to expand further, with plans to employ thousands more porters and send relief materials to an estimated 100,000 people in the coming months.

Aid workers say they are in a race against time, battling monsoon rains even as worries about the approaching winter grow, fuelling concerns that heavy snowfall could bury restored trails and cut off villages once again.

"Winter's not far off at all and we need to move fast to open up access and help people stock up on food supplies... we are not out of the woods yet," WFP's Anderson said.

To quake survivors like Thami, fear is constant.

"There are aftershocks, there are landslides... out here, we don't know if (death) will come from above or destroy us from below," the mother of five said.

Nonetheless, she sets aside her anxieties and hits the trails before dawn every day in an effort to earn 1000 rupees ($10) per load and support her family's precarious existence on the isolated slopes.

"My husband is too sick to work so I have no expectations of him," she said.

"After going through two quakes and enduring so much pain, the fact that I am able to earn some money and send my children to school means everything to me."


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Bulgaria deploying up to 1,000 troops at Turkish border
Sofia (AFP) Sept 17, 2015
Bulgaria began deploying up to 1,000 troops Thursday to buttress its southeastern border with Turkey with hundreds of migrants stranded for a third day on the Turkish side, a senior official said. "We have triggered a plan for the start of the step-by-step deployment of up to 1,000 troops along the whole Bulgarian-Turkish border (within the next week)," interior ministry chief of staff Georg ... read more


DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Fukushima dumps first batch of once-radioactive water in sea

Bulgaria deploying up to 1,000 troops at Turkish border

Mexican FM urges 'exhaustive' probe into Egypt tourist deaths

Charity that helped academics flee Nazis aids Syrians and Iraqis

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
'Lab-on-a-Chip' to cut costs of sophisticated tests for diseases and disorders

First new cache-coherence mechanism in 30 years

One step closer to a new kind of computer

Researchers develop 'instruction manual' for futuristic metallic glass

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Omega-3's are vital for a healthy ocean

Acidic ocean will bend the mermaid's wineglass

The saying 'It never rains but it pours' is truer than ever in Scotland

Robots help to map England's only deep-water Marine Conservation Zone

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Melting Arctic sea ice accelerates methane emissions

Adaptation to high-fat diet, cold had profound effect on Inuit, including shorter height

Arctic sea ice summertime minimum is fourth lowest on record

Solving the problem of sea ice thickness distribution using molecular concepts

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Study of US farm data shows loss of crop diversity

Fearless fowl grow and lay better

Hunter-gatherers were enjoying oatmeal 30,000 years ago

Land degradation costs trillions of dollars

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Several dead as severe floods hit Sierra Leone capital

Chile quake kills 10, one million evacuated

Lessons from 2010 quake saved lives in Chile: experts

Flash flood toll rises to eight in US state of Utah

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Burkina on the brink amid coup led by ex-dictator's ally

Dealing with climate change and local beliefs in Africa

Shots fired as Burkina Faso guards seize president, PM

Mozambique opposition boycotts peace talks

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Scientists report earlier date of shift in human ancestors' diet

Fossil trove adds a new limb to human family tree

Bonobos use finger-pointing, hand gestures to communicate

Ancient human shoulders reveal links to ape ancestors




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.