Nepal: Emergency Assistance to Earthquake Survivors - at a Mountaintop Village with Terrible Earthquake Damage

Transporting relief goods to a distribution site by following mountain passes and along a river

The emergency response team of Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan) has been continuing emergency relief activities in Tasarpu Village of the mountainous Dhading District. On May 14th, the team distributed relief supplies to a total of 308 households in the 2nd and 8th wards at the back of the village.

First AAR Japan transported relief goods by four, four-ton trucks from the capital Kathmandu to the foot of the mountain, which takes about three hours. The team then transferred the relief supplies from the trucks to five tractors at the riverbank, and moved along the river. Following the strong aftershock that occurred two days ago, the team talked with local drivers, and decided that this route was safer than through the mountain passes. After moving along the river for about an hour, the team arrived at a low-lying area, which was the AAR Japan’s distribution site.

Women of the 8th ward of Tasarpu Village waiting in line to receive long-awaited relief supplies.

May 14th Distribution Details

Location: 2nd and 8th wards of Tasarpu Village, Dhading District
Number of households: 308 households
Distributed items:
[Food] two weeks supply of rice, dall beans, salt, cooking oil, condiments (masala and turmeric)
[Household items] a bucket, two mosquito nets, a floor mat

The AAR Japan’s emergency response team transferred relief supplies from the trucks to tractors, and moved along the river for about an hour. The owner of the tractors refused to receive any compensation for fuel and labor.
AAR Japan used a large area of the riverbank, located at the foot of the 8th ward of the village as the distribution site, and handed the food and household supplies to victims with the help of staff members of the ward office and local youth volunteers.

“I want a place where my family can sleep well with peace of mind.”

The beneficiaries had to climb narrow and steep mountain paths to return to their home from the distribution site. They climbed up the mountain paths without any difficulties, whilst carrying the distributed supplies on their heads or shoulders. It took about an hour to ascend to the 8th ward, where almost all houses were destroyed, and debris had not yet been cleared.

In mountainous areas, where mountain passes are impassable to vehicles, collapsed houses have not yet been cleared and relief supplies have so far been unable to reach the people who need them. The strong aftershocks exacerbate the plight facing the victims. AAR Japan will continue to deliver assistance to such areas. We would greatly appreciate your continuous support.

The beneficiaries, including children and women, climb the narrow and steep mountain paths from the distribution site to their homes, carrying the distributed supplies on their heads or shoulders. It took AAR Japan team members approximately an hour to reach the village, which the beneficiaries described as quite near.
In the mountaintop areas, almost all of the houses were destroyed and debris was not cleared, exactly the same sight as right after the earthquake. Natsuki MATSUMOTO (left) and Chiaki FURUKAWA (right) from AAR Japan.
The front of the house in which Sano Taka’s (left) family lived barely maintains the structure. The back of the house is completely destroyed.
Sano Taka’s family, consisting of seven, sleeps at this collapsed barn. He said, “I am extremely grateful for the floor mat and mosquito net, but now I want a place where my family can sleep well with peace of mind.”

*These activities are made possible thanks to the generous donations of our supporters such as yourself and the grant from Japan Platform (JPF).

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Natsuki MATSUMOTO, AAR Japan Tokyo Headquarters
MATSUMOTO has been in charge of public relations at AAR Japan Tokyo Headquarters since April, 2012. While studying at graduate school, she worked at an international organization as an intern. (profile as of the date of the article)

Japanese-English translation by Ms. Yuko Kawano
English editing by Ms. Rachael Lea Rhine 

This article has been translated by volunteers as part of the AAR Japan's Volunteer Programme. Their generous contributions allow us to spread our activities and ideas globally, through an ever-growing selection of our reports from the field.