Back in nepal and the rebuild is happening!

I was greeted by my good friend Mahendra and his team from the Mandala organisation who we are currently working to support projects on the ground around Nepal.

In my last blog I commented on the disruption being reported in Nepal due to the political parties trying to form a constitution. This disruption appears to be in the far south area, the Terai region, a predominantly Maoist region. There is hope here that this will come to an end very soon and not escalate beyond the present situation. A little extra security was evident in the Capital, but as we drove through the outskirts of Kathmandu and towards the Sindupolchok region it was great to see normality in the villages as we drove along. Children in school uniform ready for school, the free movement of traffic and trade and a relaxed Nepal that I remember so well.

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Identifying funding projects

A stark contrast to 4 months ago where I witnessed the total fear and desperation of the people living here, and the devastation that lay all around them. I have always said that if a nation could recover from such a disaster it is here, Nepal, due the resilience of the people that live here. Where there were crumpled homes now neat piles of recycled bricks lie ready to be used again. Where there were areas of vacant ground, temporary semi circle tin shelters are short term homes.

What I took for granted was how difficult it has been until now to really start rebuilding much of the communities. Shortly after my last visit a few homes were built in this area, but then the Monsoon came which brought everything to a standstill. Temporary shelter took priority as heavy rains and flooding hit as well as landslides closing many roads preventing the movement of building materials around the country. In addition to this priority had to be given to Nepal’s staple diet –Rice. This had to be planted otherwise there would be a food shortage for many too.

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Hiking to the villages

The other thing to take into account is the time it takes to assess not just the villages, but whole districts, cities and really the whole country. Many buildings still standing have had to be checked for damage and assessed, and a large team of surveyors have had the job of marking green ticks or red crosses on buildings.

With the monsoon past it appears its time to restart and rebuild Nepal. I’m here meeting with the Mandala Organisation, a Non Government Organisation assisting disaster relief. Over the last few months they have been visiting much needed rural areas across Nepal assessing the damage and identifying essential projects to help and support. I headed out with them today to see projects that the ‘Nepal Appeal’ could support and to see for myself the projects the Charity has already committed to funding.

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Mandala Team – amazing on the ground work!

When they said rural they meant it. From the road in the Sindupolchok region we then headed up a track, across paddy fields gaining over 1500ft in height until the jeep could go no more, then it was out on foot! This was jungle style terrain and unlike many homes closer to the road, these go unnoticed. With the research colleagues Milan and Shanti had done, we identified people who without outside help would receive no assistance. Whilst some villages and neighbours are out helping each other to construct new homes, others have no help, or have lost family members, or financially have nothing.

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A pretty rural drive!

A very humbling afternoon to meet and hear their stories, spend time with them and also see such hope. Thanks to all of you that have supported the Charity we can make a real difference to some of those people. I feel truly privileged to be here on behalf of the charity and be able help those worse off, thanks to your support. I cannot describe the joy in their eyes and the disbelief that people they have never met want to help them and build them a whole new home! Emotional to say the least, and so worth the hot monsoon walk and all you have done – Thank you

Tomorrow it is much the same – out early to hike and meet those we can help. In the next Blog I will tell each of their stories and share their very real experiences with you.

Ant

www.nepalappeal.com

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