Your help in Nepal is more than necessary
Martin Bandžák, Kathmandu, Nepal, 21/05/2015
In the recent years, I have seen all of the major natural humanitarian disasters in the world with my own eyes. Whether it was the earthquake in Haiti which killed 300,000 people, cyclone Nargis in Myanmar which also took the lives of about 300,000 people, extreme drought in Somalia and Kenya which erupted in famine and drove hundreds of thousands of people in the Dadaab refugee camp in north-eastern Kenya or at last the typhoon Hayian in the Philippines which deprived millions of people of their homes. Now it is Nepal. The country under Himalayas has experienced two large earthquakes during one week. What the first one did not manage to destroy, the second finished. I have never seen such destruction in my life. Mountain villages completely destroyed, not a single house standing and many lost lives. Those who survived are sleeping in the open air without a shelter. The earthquakes also took away the food stocks, livestock, health centers and schools. In the Sipappokari village where our MAGNA team operates, I met an 81-year-old grandfather in the ruins of his own house. He lives alone, his wife died 15 years ago, and his children left this area a long time ago. He can’t imagine what he is going do now. And neither can I. How will he build a house in which he lived his whole life? It was a traditional house built out of bricks and clay. From now on and for many years to come it will be only a metal shed where the rain will leak during monsoon seasons and where there will be unspeakably hot during heat waves.
We move to our tents every night, as no one sleeps in houses that remained. Everyone is afraid of another quake. The earth is still shaking every day. Everyone always panics and we race to the nearest open area. Psychological trauma here is huge.
But the life here has not ended. In the village Bimhtar where our MAGNA team operates, I met a newborn baby boy. His 18-year-old mother Shirushna gave birth to him one day after the first earthquake. Outside. In the open air. Without any medical assistance and equipment. The baby is healthy and gives hope to everyone around.
But there is still a number of areas where help has not arrived, the roads are impassable and people can reach them only by foot or by helicopter. Logistically, it is one of the most arduous disasters where our MAGNA team has ever responded.
In these situations, the dead can’t be helped, but survivors are in great need for it. They must be helped. Such a catastrophe will change lives of everyone around the world. And the same thing can happen to us in Slovakia any time too.
Almost 20,000 individuals, businesses and foundations, reacted to our call for aid to Nepal so far and have sent a donor SMS to number 836, contributing to the collection account 2943004292/1100 or online. Thanks to them, we are here on the site. We provide basic needs for children and their families – medical and psychosocial support, hygiene, we supply tented health centers with medicines and medical supplies, provide tents for the operation of medical and psychosocial assistance. Next week, we are sending a ton of medical supplies from Slovakia and the Czech Republic. We also obtain other medicines from our partners from previous disasters, and we purchase and import humanitarian aid from neighbouring India. We will be here for a long time, at least for the next three months. Your help here is more than on the spot. People here are incredibly nice. Wherever we come, we are welcomed and thanked for our help.
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