Mormon Newsroom
News Release

More Relief Pours into Nepal from LDSC

The help keeps coming.

More relief from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through LDS Charities continues to pour into the remote areas of Nepal. Mountain villages are located all over the Nepali mountain ranges in small little hamlets governed by a village development council (VDC) that serves a group of hamlets.  Most VDC’s serve about 300 people.  Following the April 25th earthquake, LDSC has been sending  trucks loaded with supplies containing rice, oil, lentils, blankets, towels and some soap to each VDC at a time. 

Rakesh Hamal, the head of Safa Sunaulo Nepal and the LDSC partner for disaster relief, learned of a very large VDC serving almost 6,000 people which had not received help. Mr. Hamal believed that LDSC and Safa Sunaulo should go there despite the large number of people.  Another relief organization had tried to take up a small relief package for 200 people, but the people were so desperate they had fought for the supplies, resulting in chaos. Knowing this ahead of time, LDS Charities sent up nine trucks loaded with basic supplies to Bhimtar VDC on June 18, 2015.  Since it was such a large distribution for 1200 households, the nine trucks were preceded by an army team who would help the VDC conduct the distribution in an orderly fashion. Like the villages themselves, the roads were incredibly broken up, so it took four hours for the trucks to arrive.

The area was devastated. The small hamlets were in ruins.  If the homes were not in rubble, the buildings were so damaged they could not be used.  The people had dug what they could salvage from the rubble and it was not much.

The local VDC officials had assembled their lists of households that qualified for assistance, and the villagers had been notified that help was coming.  As the trucks entered the distribution area, villagers were sitting under trees hoping there would be enough supplies for their families this time.  The numbers were so large that even the suppliers were praying that they had enough for everyone.  Village officials arranged the people into hamlets.  The local volunteers unloaded half the supplies onto tarps in an orderly sequence for distribution.  Army personnel took up their positions with volunteers at each station and the distribution began.  

The people were called up by hamlet to the VDC official who checked their names off the list.  The villagers went around the village square picking up a small towel to be shared by the entire family, a bar of soap, a bag of oil, lentils, and finally a large bag of rice with a blanket thrown on top.  Remarkably there was enough for every household, and not one family was left without, even though it had taken all day to get the work done.  It was all they could carry and would last them for only a very short time, but it would give them some food in their stomach and the energy to begin to rebuild.  

It is monsoon season in Nepal.  Before the quake, the villagers would have had small storages of rice, lentils and seeds to get them through the monsoons.  Currently their storage is gone – buried under rubble and destroyed.  They have to start from scratch, and they will.  They are used to tough times.  So what happens in the future?  LDSC continues to work on a disaster package that will assist the villagers to build safer homes, but for now, there is food.  

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