Mission East will protect 30,000 victims of earthquake from diseases in monsoon period

Mission East distributes tarpaulins and hygiene kits to about 7,000 families close to the earthquake’s epicenter in Nepal. Volunteers help the most vulnerable putting up tents, and staff advises on hygiene issues.

A month from now massive rain will wash down on the millions people affected by the earthquake in Nepal. The relief and development organisation Mission East is at the moment working tirelessly on providing shelter and clean water for the most vulnerable groups in outlying mountain villages.

Truck after truck are being sent to nine villages in the Sindhupalchowk District northeast of Nepal’s capital Kathmandu. Tarpaulins, rope, jerrycans and water purification will protect about 7,000 families – more than 30,000 people – against monsoon rain and those diseases that will inevitably follow. The monsoon period is expected to start at the beginning of June. The rain will create a major risk of infectious diseases such as cholera and typhus.

“It is a struggle against time to provide protection for the population who are living in the open, either because they do not dare return to their houses fearing they will collapse, or simply because their house is not there anymore. When rain starts to pour over the collapsed buildings it will mix with sewer water, rats and dead livestock and become mud, and we risk epidemic outbreaks,” explains Mission East’s Managing Director Kim Hartzner, who is also medical doctor. 

He appeals to all aid organisations to concentrate the aid on the most vulnerable groups in society. If not, the total number of deaths will increase immensely.

In close cooperation with local and international partners, Mission East is distributing tarpaulins and hygiene kits in nine villages in the Sindupalchowk District northeast of Kathmandu. Tuesday the aid had reached 1,096 families in Bothechour village, and the upcoming days, distributions will continue in Haibung, Thakani and Sindhukot among others, until all the villages Mission East is responsible to help are covered. The nine villages have 6,896 families in total, which corresponds to estimated 30,819 people.

Mission East focuses on the most vulnerable groups in society, including children, women, the elderly, people with disabilities and marginalised caste groups.

“For this reason we distribute directly to people in their outlying villages, and we engage volunteers to help elderly and vulnerable carrying their tarpaulins and set up shelter for them,” Kim Hartzner explains.

Moreover, Mission East will provide material and technical assistance to put up emergency latrines in the nine villages. Experts will provide trainings in hygiene and safe management of waste.  

The target is that the population who are at risk after the earthquake will be protected from monsoon rain, have access to clean drinking water and – not least – be protected from contamination and diseases. If not, the monsoon rain will become a new disaster on top of the disaster of the earthquake hitting Nepal April 25 and affecting 8 million people in the impoverished country.