Five ways you can help Nepal recover from devastating 2015 earthquake
It’s been a year since the 7.8 magnitude quake struck the Himalayan country, and despite pledges of US$4 billion in aid it still in dire need of help. Here’s how you can show your support
When an earthquake struck Nepal a year ago, emergency relief poured in from around the world, but a recent visit has confirmed that the daunting long-term task of rebuilding Nepal is just beginning . People who have actively been helping Nepal recover since last April share their advice with those who want to help.
1. Visit Nepal
“Many places in Nepal are still safe to travel, so please visit and help us to build back our tourism,” says award-winning mountaineer and relief worker Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita. “Once the Nepalese people can earn money they can rebuild by themselves. The important thing is to create job opportunities for everyone.”
“We accept everybody and anybody, irrespective of gender, faith, age or qualifications,” says Avery Doninger of All Hands Volunteers . “We also provide on-site training by experienced staff, careful oversight and direction, and the logistical support necessary to transform a volunteer’s good intentions into positive impact.”
Nepal is facing a problem that requires reconstruction of close to 500,000 homes, a situation that is currently way beyond national capacity, says Doninger. “Donations to NGOs and [international] NGOs working on the ground in Nepal make a huge difference.”
4. Follow up on where your money is going
“It takes time to ensure good planning and coordination among different stakeholders so that no resources are wasted,” says Lalita Gurung of Hong Kong Red Cross. “It also requires continued attention and efforts to work with the affected people to build back better the communities. So following through on how donations are utilised is important to ensure accountability.”
5. Spread the word
“I want the people of Hong Kong to remember Nepal and realise that the devastation caused by last year’s earthquake is not yet solved,” says John Wood, Hong Kong-based founder of Room to Read.
“The world grieved at the time, but the media and its viewers tend to move on pretty swiftly,” says Doninger. “Let your friends and family know that people in Nepal are still in dire need of help. Advocacy is hugely important in the months and years after a natural disaster of this scale.”